ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Mount Desert selectman accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday in Ellsworth District Court.

Jeffrey T. Smith, 59, was arrested around 2 a.m. Nov. 2, 2008, after Mount Desert police found his car stuck in a ditch alongside Indian Point Road. Smith was not with the vehicle but was found by police a short time later walking along the same road. Smith had minor injuries, police have said.

Smith did not appear in court on Tuesday but his attorney, Daniel Pileggi of Ellsworth, entered a not-guilty plea on Smith’s behalf.

Outside of the courtroom, Pileggi declined Tuesday to comment about the case.

Smith had been serving as chairman of the Mount Desert Board of Selectmen but has stepped aside as chairman while he faces the OUI charge. Smith continues to serve on the board. Patrick Smallidge, the board’s vice chairman, is acting as chairman until Smith’s case is resolved.

Smith did not return a message left Tuesday afternoon at his home seeking comment about his plea.

In an interview approximately a month after his arrest, Smith said his physical condition on the night of the incident might have been caused by a stroke. He said at the time that he could not comment about what role alcohol consumption may have played in the incident.

“I can’t answer that,” Smith said Dec. 1. “I have very, very little recall of that afternoon or evening.”



Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....