Yesterday AVFM News brought you breaking coverage of Mary Kellett’s sentencing hearing in Portland, Maine concerning her misconduct during the Vladek Filler trial. She was found guilty last year by the Overseers of the Bar of the ethical breaches of withholding exculpatory evidence and making misleading statements to a jury. In a plea deal, Kellett agreed to a 30 day suspension on the condition that she complete a 6 hour course in prosecutorial ethics. Judge Ellen Gorman promptly suspended the suspension saying that she intends to impose the recommendation by the end of this week after further review, but for now Kellett is free to practice law and it is still unclear whether she will face any consequences at all for her misconduct.
The justification for the move was there was no one to replace Kellett. Correspondent Chris Caldwell asked one of Kellett’s lawyers if, during the closed-door meeting with members of the Bar in which the plea deal was struck, Kellett’s punishment was suspended to deter any case re-openings in which Kellett could be found guilty of misconduct resulting in overturned convictions. Caldwell did not receive an answer.
Kellett, who has handled over 10,000 cases in her ten years as a prosecutor, said during a statement of apology during the hearing “I regret the harm my mistakes caused. While I did not intentionally violate the bar rules, my actions did violate the bar rules.”
Vladek Filler was given fifteen minutes to speak and read from a prepared impact statement available here.
“No matter what the evidence showed; no matter what recorded admissions my wife made at the DA office and to law enforcement; no matter what revelations were discovered; no matter what the State crime lab reports said; no matter what I, the older children, or other witnesses reported to investigators–nothing stopped prosecutor Mary Kellett from forcing this case to go forward through abuse of her position of trust and power as a State prosecutor.”
This is the first time in the state’s history a prosecutor was suspended for misconduct.