The Lincoln County Republican Committee (LCRC) held its monthly meeting at the Newcastle Community Center on June 27 featuring Jonathan Liberman, district attorney for Lincoln, Knox, Sagadahoc, and Waldo counties.
DA Jonathan Liberman spoke to the group about the opioid crisis in Maine and local efforts to “break down the wall between the Enforcement World and the Treatment World.” By the time he gets a case file, it is the back end of a process with few options other than what is provided by the Criminal Code. They use a process called “continuing sentencing” where they can stipulate certain actions to follow for a period of time such as a year and if the individual follows the program and is successful, then sentencing can take that into account. The problem with the process is that he will not see the file again for a year or, as is often the case, particularly with the seriously addicted, in less than a year if another crime is committed. Saying that he wants to be a prosecutor in a court system where there is constant community involvement, Liberman noted local efforts of the Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative and talked of his support to get a similar effort underway in Knox County.
Describing the opioid crisis as “the issue in law enforcement,” Liberman said that almost all burglaries are drug related and that all of us are at a higher risk for crime because of the issue. The opioid issue is not confined to a single segment of the population citing a recent case of a well-to-do family who had lost their second child to a drug overdose, a situation that is becoming much more common. Early and consistent involvement is important starting with education in the middle schools. Saying we must speak to our middle school children as adults. The problem is too serious to not do so.
Liberman was appointed by Governor Paul LePage to fill the vacancy created by the confirmation of the former DA Geoffrey Rushlau to District Court judge. A graduate of Cheverus High School, Syracuse University, and the University of Maine School of Law, Liberman was an assistant district attorney from May 2011 until 2016 when he became Deputy DA under Rushlau. Liberman is running for reelection in November and wants to continue the efforts he has started.
During the business meeting, the Committee endorsed a raffle proposal from Newcastle Republican Town Committee to participate as a County Committee fundraiser. Newcastle is providing two tickets to the Red Sox-Yankees game, Saturday night, Sept. 29 including hotel accommodations for two at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. Seats for the historic rivalry are in the grandstand behind the Red Sox dugout. Anyone interested in tickets, call 563-8503.
The LCRC meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month and all interested Republicans are welcome. The next meeting will be held July 25 with a program featuring two recent high school graduates, Kelly Stratton of Winthrop and Dylan Mitchell of Belfast who will speak about what it means to be a Republican. For more information, please contact Joe Grant, Chairman of the LCRC or email firstname.lastname@example.org.