From Augusta

From Augusta: Rockweed Work Group appointments; Maine criminal division; MDOC hires and graduates

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 6:30am

AUGUSTA — Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher appointed members of the group that will determine criteria for ecologically sensitive areas that should be closed to rockweed harvesting on the Maine coast. The Rockweed Working Group (Working Group) consists of scientists and others with expertise in relevant issues outlined last year by the team that developed the statewide management plan for rockweed.

"The group I selected for this important effort has a remarkable depth of relevant knowledge, expertise and experience," said Keliher, in a news release. "I appreciate the commitment each is showing to this fishery and to Maine's coastal ecology."

Members of the Working Group include Brian Beal, professor of marine ecology at the University of Maine, Machias. Beal has published numerous peer-reviewed studies on marine organisms including clams, lobster, quahogs, eelgrass, kelp, rockweed and scallops. Beal was also a member of the rockweed Plan Development Team (PDT).

Also on the Working Group is Jim Gilbert, a retired professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Maine. Gilbert is best known for marine mammal research, having served on the Northeast Atlantic Seal Research Consortium, the Atlantic Marine Mammal Species Status Review Group, and the Guild of Maine Pinniped-Aquaculture Interaction Task Force. Gilbert has also authored or co-authored peer-reviewed publications on marine mammals, seabirds and other sea life.

Dave Preston, an expert in the area of mechanical harvesting is also among the Working Group members. Preston is employed by North American Kelp in Waldoboro where his responsibilities include quality control, organic certification, and harvester management. Preston is a current member of the Maine Seaweed Council and served on the rockweed PDT.

Nancy Sferra, the director of science and stewardship at The Nature Conservancy will also serve on the Working Group. A former PDT member, Sferra brings expertise in wildlife biology and land conservation experience to the Working Group. Prior to becoming the director of science and stewardship, Nancy served as the Southern Maine Preserves Manager and Land Steward for The Nature Conservancy.

Lindsay Tudor, a wildlife biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will fill the final spot on the Working Group. Tudor is the current non-game bird specialist for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife focusing on conservation planning, inventory, research, and outreach for shorebirds, terns and harlequin ducks. Tudor has conducted research on birds throughout Maine and has co-authored two peer-reviewed publications on shorebirds.

The department solicited nominations for the Working Group in July, seeking individuals with expertise not only in rockweed harvesting and ecology, but also in areas relevant to discussion of protection for sensitive wildlife areas and conserved lands.

The Working Group was recommended by the rockweed fishery management PDT as a way to create guidelines for establishing areas along Maine's coast that are closed to harvesting rockweed. The rockweed PDT worked last year on the first fishery management plan (FMP) authorized by the legislature. Management plans will also be developed for lobster and other marine resources. FMPs will serve as guidance documents that include such things as management goals and objectives, biological information, a description of the fishery, stock status, current management measures, recommendations to achieve goals, current research and future research needs, and an ecosystem based characterization of the resource.

The Working Group will likely hold its first meeting in late September 2014 and will conduct monthly meetings through Jan. 15, when it will present a report to the Marine Resources Committee. Notices of the meetings will be published in the media and on the Maine Department of Marine Resources website. Each meeting will provide an opportunity for public input and will feature outside experts on issues including shorebirds and marine mammals.

A copy of the rockweed Fishery Management Plan and other related information can be found on the Department of Marine Resources website at For more information on the rockweed Working Group, contact DMR Policy Development Specialist Chris Vonderweidt at 624-6558.

Lisa Marchese becomes deputy attorney general and chief of the criminal division of the attorney general's office

AUGUSTA — Attorney General Janet T. Mills has sworn in Lisa Marchese as a deputy attorney general and chief of the criminal division of the attorney general's office. Marchese, with 28 years of experience as a prosecutor, will coordinate the state's prosecution of many of the highest profile crimes in Maine.

"Attorney Marchese has proven herself in the courtroom to be a tenacious attorney, always seeking justice on behalf of victims," said Attorney General Mills. "Lisa has also worked hard outside the courtroom to prevent tragedies stemming from acts of domestic violence. She is a leader in our office and in the legal community and I am proud to name her as chief of the criminal division."

Marchese was appointed to lead the criminal division following the confirmation of Bill Stokes as a Superior Court justice by the Maine State Senate. Marchese has worked in the criminal division of the attorney general's office since 1986 covering numerous assignments. She first advised and instructed at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, then prosecuted fraud cases, she coordinated the drug taskforce attorneys before she transitioned to prosecuting homicide cases in 1997. Recently, she was the lead prosecutor on the team that obtained the convictions against Randall Daluz and Nicolas Sexton for the drug-related murders of three individuals in Bangor.

Marchese has led the Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel since 2001. The Review Panel is the only entity that conducts an in depth analysis of domestic abuse homicides in order to better understand the dynamics that led up to the incident with the intention of identifying ways to prevent future tragedies. Marchese has been recognized as a top authority in Maine for the prevention of domestic violence. In 2010 Marchese was awarded the Caroline Duby Glassman award by the Maine Bar Association for her relentless pursuit of justice for victims and their families and for her efforts to serve as a role model for younger and less experienced attorneys.

Marchese will be the first woman to lead the criminal division. The division has exclusive jurisdiction over homicides in Maine and is responsible for homicide and other criminal appeals, prosecuting financial crimes, pursuing frauds against the State and prosecuting most major drug crimes. The criminal division also advises the bureaus within the Department of Public Safety.

Marchese is a native of Bangor, graduating from Bangor High School, the University of Maine and Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire. She is married to Jon Eames and has two sons.

Gary LaPlante will serve as Maine Department of Corrections Director of Operations

Augusta — Gary LaPlante has accepted the position of Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) Director of Operations, according to a press release by MDOC Commissioner Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick. LaPlante started his MDOC career more than 25 years ago as a guard at the Maine State Prison in Thomaston. He has served as a sergeant, correctional investigator, and correctional captain for the Maine State Prison (Thomaston and Warren), as well as at Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren. LaPlante was also a volunteer member of the Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT).

In 2003 LaPlante became Director of Security for the Maine Correctional Center (MCC) in Windham. He transferred in 2011 to MDOC's central office in Augusta as Director of Security for the department, returned briefly to MCC in 2014 as Senior Deputy, then back to the central office as Director of Security. Gary has a unique perspective from working on the line level, to facility administration, to the central office.

LaPlante holds an associate's degree in criminal justice from the University of Maine at Augusta, and has served on the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Board of Trustees for three years. He is chair of the correctional curriculum committee which recently completed a total revision of the correctional officer curriculum for both state and county correctional officers. He has been instrumental with implementing MDOC's Inter Perimeter Security (IPS), K-9's, the overtime reporting, mapping, internal affairs, NIC Security Audits, ICS System Emergency Response, legislative testimony, MCJA instructor, and the Special Operations Group.

MDOC Welcomes Alan Gregory as Maine State Prison Staff Development Coordinator 

AUGUSTA — Alan Gregory has taken the role of  Staff Development Coordinator at the Maine State Prison, according to a press release by MDOC Director of Training and Staff Development Angie Newhouse. Alan comes to us from Kennebec County Jail, where he was a Corrections Officer, Corporal, Sergeant and Training Coordinator.  

Gregory is Method of Instruction (MOI) certified and has taught at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. He holds a current corrections officer certification, and has a degree in education.  In his spare time he enjoys teaching fly tying and fly fishing.

Maine Department of Corrections adult probation and case workers recognized for collaborative training 

AUGUSTA - Maine Integrated Risk Reduction Model (MIRRM) is a collaborative approach to how Case Workers and Probation Officers work with inmates and clients in MDOC facilities and under supervision in the community. The following MDOC employees were recognized at the July 22 Correctional Administrators Meeting in Augusta for their excellence in training and ongoing commitment to the implementation of Evidence Based practices. All adult division Administrators, Probation Officers and facility Case Workers were trained in this method of case management, client engagement and risk reduction. 

Region 1 has offices in Portland, Biddeford, Farmington, Naples, Rumford and South Paris. Region 2 has offices in Lewiston, Augusta, Rockland, Skowhegan, Waterville and Wiscassett. Region 3 has offices in Bangor, Belfast, Calais, Caribou, Dover-Foxcroft, Ellsworth, Houlton, Lincoln, Machias, Newport, and Rockland. The Southern Maine Reentry Center (SMRC) is in Alfred.

John Coyne promoted to MDOC Regional Correctional Administrator for Region 1 Juvenile

John Coyne has accepted the position of Regional Correctional Administrator for Region 1 Juvenile. He will start his official duties on Monday, July 28 and will be located in the Portland office. 

Coyne has more than 24 years of correctional experience in both field and facility. His leadership skills and attention to detail will serve him and the Region well, according to Colin O'Neil, Assistant Director of Treatment, Maine Department of Corrections.

The Maine Department of Corrections Region 1 for Juvenile Community Corrections has offices in South Portland, Biddeford. 

Jody L. Breton named New Maine Department of Corrections deputy commissioner

AUGUSTA - Associate Commissioner Jody L. Breton is the new deputy commissioner at the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC), effective August 1.

MDOC Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick said the new Deputy Commissioner position "allows for a better chain of command. It establishes a second person in charge, should the commissioner become unavailable. I believe Jody Breton's knowledge and experience will be an asset to her new rank."

Deputy Commissioner Breton describes herself as "a no-nonsense, get it done individual" who "worked my way up the career ladder starting in state government 25 years ago as an internal auditor, moving to external auditor, budget examiner to budget analyst.  She became director of budget and fiscal operations, service center director (10 years as corrections’ top financial person), and deputy commissioner at the Department of Environmental Protection before returning to corrections as the associate commissioner."

Breton holds a Masters in Business Administration from Thomas College in Waterville, and two bachelor's degrees, one in computer information systems and the other in business administrations.

The deputy commissioner position replaces one of the Department's three associate commissioner positions.

Maine Department of Corrections graduates 18 new staff members

 AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC), on Tuesday, Aug. 12, graduated 17 correctional officers (CO's) and one correctional care and treatment worker (CCTW) at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.

The graduates were welcomed by MDOC Director of Training Angie Newhouse. The Maine Correctional Center Color Guard performed the Presentation of Colors. Officer Alston Muir recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Officers Lauren Green, Kim Loiacono, and Christina Moreno then recited the "Corrections Officers Code of Ethics," which describes the role of correctional officers. The Code begins, "As a corrections professional, my primary concern is to serve people and to be ever mindful of the responsibilities entrusted in me by the public; to protect the lives of those placed in my charge; to safeguard the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder."

MDOC Associate Commissioner Cynthia Brann gave the graduation keynote address.

Correctional Care and Treatment Workers (CCTW) work inside Maine's correctional facilities in support of mental health professionals and security staff in the development, implementation, adjustment, and ongoing delivery of prisoner's care and treatment in correctional facilities.

The ten C.O. graduates who will be on duty at Maine State Prison in Warren are: Christopher Allen, Nicholas Dever, Alan Feener, Jared Lea, Eric McVay, Alston Muir, James Novak, Thomas Richardson, Christopher Therrien, and Heather Thompson.

The seven graduates who will be on duty at Maine Correctional Center in Windham are: David Farnum, Lauren Green, Aaron Le, Kimberly Loiacono, Christina Moreno, Scott Turner, Nathan Varney.

The graduating CCTW, who will be on duty at Maine State Prison is Rodney Pinkham.

For more information on becoming a Maine correctional officer or a correctional care and treatment worker contact MDOC Personnel Officer Laurie A. Hayden at 287-2711 or

Larry Austin selected as Maine Department of Corrections director of security

Larry Austin is the new director of security for the Maine Department of Corrections. Austin is a 29-year veteran of the department and holds a master's degree in administration of justice from Husson University, where he is also an adjunct faculty member, according to Maine Department of Corrections Commissioner Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick

Prior to joining the department, Austin served with the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department, and was a police officer for six years with the Lisbon Police Department.

"During his tenure with the Department of Corrections he has served as a probation officer (Region II); assistant director programs at Charleston Correctional Facility; director, Northern Maine Juvenile Detention Facility; deputy superintendent of operations, Mountain View Youth Development Center; deputy warden of operations, Maine State Prison; superintendent, Mountain View Youth Development Center, and most recently, director, Charleston Correctional Facility.

"Larry Austin's extensive knowledge, vast experience and understanding in the areas of adult and juvenile field and facilities will serve him well in this new director of security role," says Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick.