The Crew News

January 2016 Volume 18, Issue 12

END OF 2015 BRINGS MAJOR CHANGE TO DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

The Maine Prosecutor's Association, through the leadership of our own District Attorney Stephanie Anderson, lobbied for and successfully obtained 10 new state prosecutors for the State. DA Anderson presented factual evidence of need as well as convincing arguments that the ratio of cases to prosecutors for this State are greatly disproportionate and has a negative effect on the criminal justice process. Cumberland County received 2 of these new positions and welcomed former interns, Robert Connelly and Nathan Walsh.

As you can imagine with position openings throughout the State and at the Maine Attorney General's Office, there has been much movement of prosecutors between offices. With this movement has come opportunities for seasoned prosecutors to move into different areas of prosecution that otherwise would have been unavailable. Some have been offered dream opportunities, like our very own Deputy District Attorney Megan Elam.

During the first week of November, Meg was offered an opportunity to work in the Criminal Division of the Attorney General's Office as a homicide prosecutor. With great sadness and joyful anticipation, Meg notified our office of her decision to resign her position.

Meg graduated University of Maine at Orono in 1982 and began her career in criminal justice as a clerk in the Portland District Court. She began law school in September of 1983 and graduated in May of 1986. She worked as an intern under former District Attorney Paul Aranson from May 1985 to May 1986. On April 27, 1987, she was hired as an Assistant District Attorney. She became the Deputy District Attorney under District Attorney Stephanie Anderson in 1995.

Meg has handled some of the highest profile cases in Cumberland County and won them all, even the appeals on them. For many years, Meg specifically prosecuted felony cases of sexual assault and specifically those crimes against children. Meg, along with her trial 'insistent' of many years, Kimberly O'Neill, have tirelessly provided compassionate service to and pursued justice for the victims of their cases.

If you were to google "Deputy District Attorney Megan Elam", you would see images of Meg in action with her no nonsense hold the line prosecution style. A co-worker recently stated, " she has the sharpest, surliest sense of humor of anyone I know". In a Portland Press Herald featured article, Meg was described as having the language of a "longshoreman" for which she was promptly scolded by her parents.

Several years ago, Meg had an unexpected life changing encounter with a victim of Human Trafficking and thus began a new phase of her career. She began working towards bringing light and attention to the fact that human trafficking is not a big city problem. Human trafficking is a very real threat to our citizens. It is happening right here in our own neighborhoods. This year our office began a specific unit dedicated to identifying crimes that involve either directly or indirectly human trafficking. Meg leaves our office with a legacy of hope for the silent victims of these crimes that the criminal justice system can help them. It is an unfortunate reality that Meg's new position as a homicide prosecutor will likely intersect with the legacy she is leaving behind.

On a personal note, Meg is one of the best bargain shoppers this writer has ever known. One of her bucket list items, is to visit all of the Marden's stores in the State of Maine. With her new positions, it seems that the stars are aligning to assist her in checking off this item.

In the month of December, we not only say goodbye (well more like a see ya' later) to a much loved co-worker, we also welcome a new addition to our office family. Stephanie Gilbert, coordinator of diversion and rehabilitative services, and her husband, Michael, welcomed their baby girl, Samantha Agnes Noelle on December 3, 2015.