A former Old Town Police Officer is going to jail for nine months for stealing money that was being held as evidence.

Sergeant Michael Hashey, 47, admitted to taking $40,000 over a five-year period from evidence lockers, in part to pay off gambling debts. In addition, he falsified deductions on his tax return to increase the amount of his refund. The thefts took place between 2010 and 2015. He pleaded guilty to all the charges against him, including theft and tax evasion.

The BDN reports that Old Town's Director of Public Safety told the judge that Hashey's actions have cast the department in a bad light, and it's important to let the citizens of Old Town know that this was the action of one man. All 17 members of the Old Town Police Department attended the sentencing, while Orono officers covered their duties. Hashey was sentenced to four years in prison, with all but nine months suspended, which Wilcox said was fair.

Hashey has already repaid nearly $8,000 to the city of Old Town for money he stole while working as a police officer. As part of his plea agreement, the former officer is ordered to pay more than $41,500 in restitution for tax refunds that he received illegally.