Rep. Clinton Collamore, D-Waldoboro, holds up a mold link to illustrate a point about regulations on lobstermen during a candidate forum in Damariscotta on Oct. 13, 2022. Credit: Bisi Cameron Lee / Lincoln County News

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine lawmaker facing signature fraud charges has gotten nearly $8,000 in taxpayer-funded salary and benefits since his indictment, and he will get more if he stays in office through this month.

Rep. Clinton Collamore, D-Waldoboro, has been silent since House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland, called on him to resign when news of his Dec. 15 indictment broke last month. While she removed him from a legislative committee, she has not begun the formal process of removing him from the chamber, something that requires a two-thirds vote.

Collamore has not shown up for work in Augusta since his indictment became public. He will be arraigned Thursday in Wiscasset on 20 felony charges and more than a dozen misdemeanor ones for allegedly defrauding Maine’s taxpayer-funded campaign system.

While House rules bar members from missing two consecutive days of work without excuses, there are no consequences outside of losing speaking privileges on the floor. Collamore will keep getting his legislative salary and associated benefits as long as he stays in office.

Since mid-December, he has earned $5,415, including a payment going out Wednesday, Suzanne Gresser, the Legislature’s executive director, said. The next payment of $1,354 goes out March 1. He has also collected a $1,300 constituent services allowance, and taxpayers have shelled out $945 for health insurance and $194 for mileage or tolls.

The freshman lawmaker was charged after an investigation by Maine’s campaign finance watchdog found that more than 30 signatures on forms he used to qualify for the state’s Clean Election program were fraudulent. Collamore got $14,000 to campaign for office through the publicly funded program, beating Republican Lynn Madison, also of Waldoboro, by just over 300 votes.

Neither Collamore nor his lawyer, Richard Elliott of Boothbay Harbor, answered calls seeking comment on Tuesday morning. A spokesperson for Talbot Ross also did not answer questions on the embattled lawmaker. The speaker has not commented on the matter since imploring Collamore to resign.

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...