Former Chelsea Official To Testify in Extortion Trial 

The lawyer for a former Chelsea selectwoman on trial for extortion says she’ll take the stand in her own defense to tell jurors she was conducting a fraud investigation, not committing a crime. 55-year-old Carole Swan is accused of taking $20,000 in kickbacks from a road contractor while she was in office. She’s on trial in federal court in Bangor. The federal government rested its case Thursday afternoon and Swan’s defense lawyer, Leonard Sharon, addressed the jury after not giving an opening statement Tuesday.He says he’ll present witnesses that will show that road contractor Frank Monroe has a “reputation for dishonesty”.Sharon says Swan was trying to build a case against Monroe when she was charged with criminal activity.He told the jury, “Swan was not elected for 19 years because she was a thief, she was not elected for 19 years because she was an extortionist, but because the people of Chelsea believed in her and she put herself in the line of fire.”Federal prosecutors contend Swan was a quote “corrupt elected public official” who confessed her crime to authorities on video. In July, Swan was convicted of tax fraud and lying to get workers comp benefits.