A corrections officers at Hancock County Jail has won a contest between two write-in candidates to become the county’s next elected treasurer, according to a state official.
Michael Boucher received 478 votes, while Pamela Linscott, who currently serves as the county’s appointed finance coordinator, received 404, according to results released Tuesday afternoon by the Maine Secretary of State’s office.
Scott Adkins, the county’s administrator, said Monday that the current treasurer, Janice Eldridge, decided some time ago not to seek re-election and that the county put the word out to try to encourage people to run for the position. But no one submitted the required paperwork in time to get their names on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Adkins said Tuesday that he and the county’s three elected commissioners have discussed whether Boucher will have to resign from his job as a corrections officer in order to be sworn in as treasurer by Jan. 1. He said there could be a conflict of interest in holding both jobs at once, but the commissioners want to get a definitive opinion on it.
“That question has come up,” Adkins said. “It is something we are looking into.”
According to meeting minutes posted on the county website, Boucher was hired in June as a part-time corrections officer at the jail. He is a resident of Sorrento, according to the minutes of the commissioners’ June 25, 2018 ,meeting.
A report by The Ellsworth American weekly newspaper indicates that the treasurer-elect is the same Michael Boucher who served two years of a three-year term on the Ellsworth City Council before resigning from that position for personal reasons in November 2012. He also serves as a part-time police officer in the town of Northport, according to the report.
Attempts Tuesday afternoon to contact Boucher were unsuccessful.
The lack of advance interest in the position, which resulted in the only two contenders being write-in candidates, has renewed interest among county commissioners in considering whether the position should be appointed rather than elected, according to Adkins. The 882 total votes cast in the treasurer’s race contrast sharply with the county’s close probate judge election — which is going to recount this week — in which nearly 28,000 total votes were cast.
The only condition for being elected treasurer in Hancock County is that whoever fills the position must be a resident of Hancock County, county officials have said. If the position were appointed, they have added, commissioners could require that whomever they hire have financial management experience.