Woman Accused Of Stealing $166,000 Heading For Trial 

The case a Gardiner woman accused of stealing more than $150,000 from her employer is heading to trial.Bettysue Higgins,53, of Gardiner is charged with embezzling $166,000 from the Maine Trial Lawyers Association over a four year period.Monday in court her attorney told the judge Higgins has opted to stand trial rather than plead guilty. Higgins’ lawyer spoke briefly after Monday’s hearing. “The accounting practices at the Maine Trial Lawyers Association was negligent and I’m going to have to show that their hiring practices were improper,” Attorney Ronald Bourget said outside the courthouse. “And I’m going to have to show that they have secret PAC’s, Political Action Committees, that they have that may not be in the public’s best interest.” The Attorney General’s office would not comment on the case. The Maine Trial Lawyers Association could not be reached for comment.A trial date has not been set but it’s expected to be sometime next month.