The Bangor Daily News, Maine recently reported that the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar has taken the unprecedented step of filing a complaint about a Hancock County prosecutor with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett is alleged to have violated multiple bar rules when prosecuting a Gouldsboro man in 2008 and 2009. Both a grievance panel of the Board and now the Board itself has found that Kellett committed professional misconduct in seven different ways throughout the course of the prosecution.
Prefacing its findings with a long list of caveats to mitigate the complaints against Kellet, the panel nevertheless found in its report that Kellet had withheld 911 call recording and witness statements from the defense and made improper arguments by drawing attention to missing evidence because she had successfully objected to its introduction before trial.
The BDN Maine reports:[T]he board’s grievance panel agreed, that Kellett made misleading and inappropriate statements about evidence and the burden of proof in her closing arguments to the jury. The panel also agreed with Filler’s assertion that prior to the January 2009 trial, Kellett inadequately responded to requests from Filler’s defense attorney for documents and other investigative materials and that she improperly advised an Ellsworth police officer not to comply with a subpoena from Filler’s attorney, despite a 2008 court ruling that ordered Kellett to hand over the requested materials to the defense attorney.
Ultimately, the panel recommended that Kellet be suspended from office. This is the first time that such a recommendation against a prosecutor in Maine has ever been made, according to the director of the Board of Overseers of the Bar. Justice Ellen Gorman of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court will make the final determination after Kellet files a response to the recommendation, due today.