Rockland finance worker charged with felony theft

By Stephen Betts | Nov 08, 2018

Rockland — A longtime employee in the Rockland Finance Department has been charged with stealing more than $5,000 from the city.

Laurie Smith, 55, of Rockland, was issued a summons Nov. 2 for Class C theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, according to Rockland Police Chief Christopher Young.

According to the chief, Smith had been using a city credit card to make personal purchases. The purchases had been occurring since 2016 and totaled $5,159, he said.

Smith had paid back about $2,000, but still owed the city $3,106 when the theft was uncovered by other city staff, according to the chief.

She is scheduled to make her initial appearance at the Knox County court Dec. 10.

Smith no longer works for the city, according to City Manager Tom Luttrell, who said Thursday, Nov. 8, that he could make no additional comment on the matter.

Smith had been employed by the city since 1993. She received a certificate from the City Council in 2013 for 20 years of service.

Last month, the Maine Lobster Festival announced that Smith was named its treasurer for 2019. Smith was also treasurer in 2018 for the organization.

Newly elected festival board President Celia Knight said Thursday that the board was aware of Smith's being charged and has taken all necessary steps. The books have been reviewed and nothing wrong was found. The board is expected to vote Monday to formally remove her from her position with the organization.

Knight said the festival has tried to contact Smith, but has been unable to reach her.

Smith also serves on the city's Coast Guard City Advisory Committee.

The Knox County Court was closed Thursday, and it could not immediately be determined if Smith had hired an attorney.

Comments (4)
Posted by: THOMAS MARSHALL, JR | Nov 09, 2018 13:27

We are very lucky this was caught before thousands of dollars more were embezzled. Rita Crundwell started very small in Dixon IL but over a period of years had worked the total embezzlement up to $54million.   It all came down when a city clerk asked very simple questions about an account she didn’t recognize. Kudos to our own city staff!

Posted by: Roberta W Wentworth | Nov 09, 2018 09:52

I do think this is very sad, however it is borrowing when you ask and the other party agrees, but stealing when you don't ask and just take.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Nov 09, 2018 08:39

They say "it's not what you do it's what you get caught doing"  Have known Laurie for quite some time and feel she is a good person.  I agree with your comment.  Think she just needed some extra money and though she could temporalially borrow the funds to return later.  Of course this is not the right thing to do and she will be punished and move on.  It is sad that times are such that good people are forced to do bad things just to get by.

Posted by: ananur forma | Nov 08, 2018 17:25

that's very sad, and is proof that our economic system is not serving the people in need. She did not "steal," she "borrowed,"

is what I imagine took place in her mind. Probably in need for a family member? who knows..... oh life,,, why so hard?

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