November 7, 2012

Augusta's Maloney wins two-year term as Kennebec and Somerset Counties district attorney

Augusta, Waterville support puts Democrat more than 10,000 votes ahead of Republican Darrick X. Banda

By Betty Adams
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- Democrat Maeghan Maloney of Augusta will be the next top prosecutor in Kennebec and Somerset counties for the next two years.

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Maeghan Maloney

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

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District Attorney candidate Maeghan Maloney, left, and Senate District 25 candidate Colleen Lachowicz react with joy following the closing of Waterville's polls on Tuesday.

Staff photo by David Leaming

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She topped Republican Darrick X. Banda by about 10,000 votes Tuesday, a result of substantial support in Augusta and Waterville.

With unofficial results in Wednesday from all but a handful of Somerset county communities, Maloney, a freshman legislator representing part of Augusta, received 45,834 votes to Banda's 35,349.

"I feel optimistic for the future of the district attorney's office," Maloney, 41, said Wednesday. "I met with (acting District Attorney) Alan Kelley today. He is extremely gracious and he promised me his full support in making a smooth transition, so I feel I will be able to accomplish what I talked about during the campaign."

Kelley has previously said he will leave when the new district attorney is sworn in.

Maloney said the two discussed filling vacant assistant district attorney posts. Since January, nine of the 11 lawyers in the office -- with 145 years experience as prosecutors among them -- have left or said they will be leaving by the end of the year.

At this point, it appears that four others, mostly new to the office, will be staying on.

"We have some wonderful resumes that (Kelley's) received, so I'm reviewing those and talking with the applicants and with people who approached me on the campaign trail," Maloney said.

Maloney credited her win to the help of campaign volunteers, and said she has a head start on her new job because of all the meetings she has had with law enforcement personnel and domestic violence prevention advocates and others.

"I'm starting working today," she said.

Maloney shares an office on Drew Street with her husband, Christopher Maloney, a naturopathic doctor. She is a former Maine assistant attorney general, and also was a deputy district attorney -- the equivalent of an assistant district attorney -- in Portland, Ore., where she was promoted to lead a forfeiture unit.

She is a Harvard Law School graduate with 15 years' experience. Maloney is completing a two-year term representing House District 57, which is part of Augusta.

Maloney said Banda called her late Tuesday night to offer his congratulations.

She said she was grateful "for his willingness to serve in the public interest and for a spirited campaign."

Banda, 36, who spent five years in the office as an assistant district attorney, said Wednesday he offered her assistance if she needed it.

"I told her that the partisanship's over and everybody should get behind her and try to bring back the level of professionalism that the office has maintained," Banda said. "Let's hope everybody in the office that stays can get morale turned around and get a positive outlook on things and get back to what's important, what prosecutors do, and that's keep the community safe."

Betty Adams -- 621-5631


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Staff photo by Joe Phelan Ron Bourget, district attorney candidate Darrick Banda, and Avian Moores look at results on Banda's phone on Tuesday night in Bourget's Augusta law office.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan


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