The USM Office of Community Standards is still reviewing the actions of Anthony Pergola, Cyrus Dulac, and Jonathan McCorkill in order to determine whether or not conduct charges should be brought against them for taking over a thousand copies of The Free Press.
Pergola is accused of taking the papers both weeks, and was accompanied by Dulac and McCorkill the second week.
Pergola, Dulac and McCorkill told police they were trying to buy the papers.
Even though the District Attorney’s office decided not to press criminal charges, the Office of Community Standards could still sanction the students.
“The entire incident is being reviewed, including all parties involved, as well as not involved,” said Steve Nelson, assistant to the vice president.
Currently, Community Standards is meeting with individuals and reviewing the police reports to determine what action to take.
Included in the police reports is a written statement an eyewitness made in regards to the first round of alleged thefts on Oct. 23 in which 1,000 papers were removed from the Gorham and Portland campuses.
The witness’s statement reads, “On Wednesday, October 23 (possibly Tuesday, October 22), I was sitting in the Brooks Student Center in Gorham near the snack bar when I saw Anthony Pergola come into the student center and take all The Free Press newspapers from the rack located near the Student Involvement office and leave the student center. The rack was about half full of papers. There were a couple guys around him, but I don’t know if they came with him or if they just ran into him at the student center.”
The witness’s name wasn’t available because police blacked out the name in the report.
Pergola didn’t return phone messages to comment on his involvement.
According to Craig Hutchinson, vice president of Student Development, the statement strengthens the case against Pergola by providing proof of an individual violation.
Though Pergola offered money for papers he was removing from bins on Oct. 29, no one has come forward to pay for the 1,000 papers taken on Oct. 23.
“In a lot of cases where there is a written statement made, the statement provides information, but does not include all information needed; therefore, we will interview that person in order to get clarity and determine whether the statement is useable or not,” said Nelson.
If anyone involved is found guilty of a conduct code violation, sanctions range from a written warning to dismissal from the University. The severity of sanctions also depends on the student’s prior disciplinary record, any self-acknowledgement that the individual may make for what he did wrong, or if he denies it or shows a negative attitude, according to Nelson.
“This all weighs into the equation when sanctions are imposed,” said Nelson.
It is also possible that if any are sanctioned, they may have to pay a restitution fee.
According to Nelson, theft on campus is a serious matter. In this case, “it has deprived people from the right of readership and usership,” he stated.
Staff Writer Aimee Risteen can be contacted at: [email protected]