Wilson Hall of Bucksport

A developer has quit efforts to salvage Bucksport’s historic former seminary since her indictment on fraud charges.

The Bucksport Town Council will meet with Rep. Richard Campbell, R-Orrington and a full-time contractor, on Sept. 27 to learn how he will redevelop Davis Hall now that Amy McLellan is no longer involved, Town Manager Susan Lessard said.

The seminary’s redevelopment has been controversial to Bucksport. Councilors came within a vote several years ago of ending decades of efforts to repurpose the property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places but has been left derelict for about 20 years. Some residents have tired of the attempts and say that the property can be utilized better if the building is razed.

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McLellan’s indictment last month didn’t help.

McLellan, 61, of Brunswick, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to misuse of entrusted property of a vulnerable person more than $10,000 and theft by unauthorized taking of more than $10,000, both Class B offenses for which she faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors charged McLellan with befriending a then-92-year-old man suffering from Parkinson’s disease while he was a patient at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where she worked as a nurse, then convincing him to give her power of attorney and, ultimately, to drain his savings account to allow her to finance The McLellan complex on Cumberland Street in Brunswick.

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Her attorney, Kristine Hanley, said Tuesday that she would characterize the charges as “a misunderstanding” and said that they “look forward to thoroughly challenging the allegations in court.”

Campbell said last month that he hoped that both could turn the hall into something like the Brunswick development, an upscale elderly living complex with on-site skilled nursing care.

But McLellan informed Bucksport Economic Development Director Richard Rotella on Aug. 30 that she had dropped out of the partnership, Lessard said.

[Contractor gets more time to save 178-year-old seminary]

The council gave Campbell the second of two three-month extensions July 12 to develop a plan, and find investors, for his Wilson Hall plan.

Lessard said that councilors granted the latest extension “based on the fact that he was going to partner with Ms. McLellan to work on this project.”

“They want to know what his plan is now,” Lessard added.

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Campbell had already worked on the development for eight months, scouting would-be investors and trying to find the best use for the property.

The meeting is at the Bucksport Town Office at 7 p.m.

BDN writer Beth Brogan contributed to this report.

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