The former superintendent of the Anson-Madison water district who faced charges of theft for allegedly stealing materials from the district and selling it as scrap metal pleaded not guilty in Somerset Superior Court on Tuesday, the Morning Sentinel reported.

Michael Corson, 52, and former district foreman Michael Jordan had been charged with felony theft for allegedly pocketing $12,291 from the sale of old water district pipes.

The district attorney’s office had originally dropped the charges against Corson and Jordan in February.

However, on Feb. 24, Corson was indicted by a Somerset County grand jury on a felony charge of Class B theft and a felony charge of Class C theft.

Jordan was not indicted by the grand jury.

The circumstances under which the charges were originally dropped, along with evidence that was brought to the grand jury, were not immediately clear on Tuesday.

The investigation into the former water district officials came after someone raised concerns to the district’s board of trustees about the sale of the old pipes.

Following the allegations, Corson and Jordan were fired, and management of the water district was turned over to the Maine Rural Water Association. The remaining district employees were laid off, though at least one was later rehired.

There is no current case against Jordan, but the district attorney’s office has six years to bring charges against him before the statute of limitations runs out, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said.

Corson had worked at Anson-Madison Water District as superintendent since June 1995, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The district filed a lawsuit against Corson in federal court in early March, accusing him of hamstringing its operations by locking trustees out of the district’s official email account, Amazon account, his former work-issued cellphone and three other business software applications after his firing and changing the settings so that only he could reset the passwords.

Corson denied that he still had access to those accounts, according to the lawsuit.  

The district is asking a judge to find that Corson violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and to pay for damages that it has incurred as a result of his alleged actions, which they estimated to be $5,000 after hiring cybersecurity experts from the Maine Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to bypass Corson’s settings.

Whether or not Corson will face charges for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act were not clear on Tuesday.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.