September 24, 2019

Ex-county official fined in bogus deed case

BANGOR – Penobscot County’s former roads and mapping manager and Emergency Management Agency director was fined $500 Thursday in Bangor District Court in connection with a copy of a forged deed he apparently manufactured in October of last year.

According to Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy, G. Stephen Watson of Hermon, who pleaded guilty to a charge of suppressing a recordable instrument, also agreed to forfeit his license to serve as a notary public as part of his plea agreement.

Watson declined to comment on the matter, according to his attorney, Marvin Glazier of Bangor.

Watson, 50, had served in his dual capacities for the county for almost 15 years when he abruptly resigned Aug. 7, one day short of the end of a two-week suspension imposed by the Penobscot County commissioners after they learned about problems with a salt-and-sand storage shed project in Matagamon.

Watson, in his capacity as the county’s roads and mapping manager, apparently prepared and submitted to the commissioners a copy of a deed that did not exist for land in Matagamon on which the county had recently built the $200,000 storage facility. The land at the time still belonged to the Huber Resources Corp., which followed through on its intention to transfer it to the county after the matter came to light.

In addition to that, Watson failed to obtain the necessary permits from the Land Use Regulatory Commission, the commissioners said earlier. That matter also has since been resolved, according to the commissioners.

Watson, who had been earning about $37,000 a year for the roads and mapping and EMA positions, became the focus of an investigation by the District Attorney’s Office.

Within days of Watson’s resignation this summer, Jonathan Ford, Huber’s director of business development, confirmed that Watson not only forged but also misspelled his name on the bogus document.

Though Watson apparently tried to pass the document off as a copy of a real deed, he was caught after a series of events that aroused the suspicion of county officials, including a conversation between Ford and one of the commissioners during a fishing trip.

The vacancy created by Watson’s resignation was filled this fall when the commissioners hired Burt Ingraham of Hermon as Watson’s successor.

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