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Liberal activist charged for allegedly stealing from elderly woman

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cardrag102512b.jpgELLSWORTH, Maine – A paid activist working on behalf of the liberal Maine People’s Alliance has been charged after she allegedly stole money from a woman’s purse.

Brianna Stein, 22, has been fired, according to a statement released by the MPA.

Stein, who has previously been implicated in property theft crimes, somehow managed to retain employment with the MPA, which subsequently sent her to homes across the Bangor area without conducting a criminal background check.

From the Bangor Daily News:

According to stories previously published by the Bangor Daily News, Stein was charged in the fall of 2012 in connection with separate incidents of alleged theft and robbery in Penobscot County.

In September 2012, Stein was arrested on a charge of receiving stolen property after her husband, Maxwell Stein, allegedly stole more than $50,000 worth of merchandise from his Holden landlord. The following month, she was arrested in connection with an incident in Bangor in which she and her husband were accused of making off with pills that another man had in his possession.

Brianna Stein was convicted of receiving stolen property in connection with the September 2012 incident and of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon with the other, according to a copy of her criminal history record obtained Monday from the state Bureau of Identification. She also has other convictions for theft and violating conditions of release, according to the document.

Mike Tipping, communications director for Maine People’s Alliance, said Monday that Stein had worked for the organization for about a week and was fired as soon as the group was informed of Friday’s incident in Ellsworth. He said all MPA job applicants are asked if they have criminal histories. Stein mentioned only having a traffic violation and had a good letter of recommendation from a previous employer, he said.

“She definitely lied on the application,” Tipping said. “We do ask about that. We’ve never had something like this happen in 30 years.”

Maine People’s Alliance, a politically active issues-advocacy organization, has seven staff canvasser positions based out of its Bangor office, according to Tipping. He said that he once worked as a canvasser out of Maine People’s Alliance’s Bangor office and that, though it is an entry-level position, it is important work, and the people who do it need to be trustworthy.

“We can’t have any suspicion of this sort of thing with the type of work that we do,” Tipping said.

Stein is due to appear in court in Ellsworth on Feb. 18.

The Maine People’s Alliance is a well-known liberal influence group. Although it is aligned with Maine’s labor unions and Democratic politicians, including U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, it is funded by anonymous donors. S. Donald Sussman, majority owner of the Portland Press Herald, is known to financially support the dark money group.

This is not the first time an activist’s behavior has reflected poorly on the organization. In September, The Maine Wire uncovered video of a high-profile MPA activist ridiculing and threatening a Grey Hound bus employee.

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson the editor of The Maine Wire. A native of Dexter, Maine, Robinson is a graduate of Bowdoin College.

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