More than a year after she was indicted on two counts of larceny on an elder, former Attleboro City Councilor Kim Allard will go on trial. Prosecutor Peter Maguire and defense attorney Seth Roman agreed to start the trial March 4 during a preliminary hearing Tuesday at Fall River Superior Court.
Allard is accused of taking advantage of former Probate Court Judge Edward F. Casey. The prosecution says Casey suffers from dementia and memory loss, and purchased an Attleboro home for $328,000, then deeded it to Allard for $1. She pleaded not guilty last year, just days before Election Day. She lost her re-election bid.
Former State Rep. and City Councilor Bill Bowles, whose complaint triggered the criminal investigation, testified at Tuesday's preliminary hearing about Casey's memory. The judge's lawyer Richard Pluffe also testified.
Bowles serves as Casey's conservator. Allard is Casey's former caretaker and remains in charge of his health care decisions. Casey lives at an assisted living facility in Attleboro.
Both the prosecution and defense said they would not call Casey as a witness during the trial.
Although not mentioning him by name, defense attorney Roman alleged last year that the case was a politically motivated attack by Bowles.
"The allegations were brought by a man who has an ax to grind politically against Councilwoman Allard, and clearly the timing is designed to have some influence on the upcoming election," Roman told Attleboro Patch last November after his client's arraignment. "Miss Allard is not guilty. She is completely innocent of the charges. The charges are baseless. I'm confident, in fact I know, that at the end of proceedings she will is going to be found not guilty."
Bowles responded last November that the legal actions did not involve politics, although he believed Allard was not a good councilor.
"Elder abuse is not political, elder abuse is very serious," Bowles said. "We have an individual whose life is altered significantly because of what has happened."
He added, "We have an elderly gentleman who has dementia and was convinced to mortgage his property in Newport, R.I., and mortgage a home in Attleboro. He lived at that property for approximately a year and is now in assisted living. He is struggling with financial resources because he gave away most of the assets that would be used for his health care."