ELLSWORTH — Robert C. Granger of Blue Hill recently announced his candidacy for district attorney of Hancock and Washington counties. Granger has practiced law for 31 years, nearly 27 of them at Acadia Law Group in Ellsworth and its predecessor, Roy, Beardsley, Williams & Granger.
Granger said he is running as an independent candidate, unaffiliated with any political party, because he feels the office should strive to be nonpartisan in its mission.
“The district attorney’s job is to make fair and unbiased charging decisions based solely on the facts and circumstances of each case without deference to outside allegiances. The DA’s obligation is to the entire collective citizenry of the two counties. It’s important to the issue of fairness to be as unbiased as possible when deciding whether to charge a citizen with a crime that may affect them for the rest of their lives. I would take that job very seriously.”
He has extensive experience in criminal law in state and federal courts, handling a wide range of cases including bank robbery, drug trafficking, armed career criminal, manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, immigration violations, conspiracies and other crimes.
After being appointed as justice of the peace by the chief judge of the Maine District Court in 1996, Granger has held this position for the last 26 years. In that role, Granger is commissioned with authority to review and issue search warrants, arrest warrants, 48-hour holds and enter other criminal processes in appropriate circumstances.
In 2013, the Maine state troopers recruited Granger to serve as their critical incident response attorney when troopers are involved in the use of deadly force. He was also retained as the critical incident response attorney by the Maine Association of Police, Maine State Law Enforcement Association, Fraternal Order of Police and other independent agencies. In that role, Granger responds statewide to officer-involved shootings and represents the officers during the Attorney General’s Office’s investigations of the use of deadly force incidents.
Before entering private practice, Granger served as a law clerk to the Hon. Wade Brorby, circuit judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. He also interned at the Vermont Supreme Court and the Hancock County District Attorney’s Office before graduating from Vermont Law School cum laude in 1991.
Granger accrued significant jury trial experience over the last three decades of active practice. He also has a familiarity with law enforcement concerns. He graduated from the Vermont Police Academy in 1986, while working for the law enforcement division of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
Before becoming an attorney, Granger worked for nearly two decades as a pilot and certified flight instructor. He also worked as a firefighter, a logger, a journalist and a farrier. He grew up in Blue Hill and is a graduate of George Stevens Academy and the University of Maine at Orono.
“I have always wanted to return to prosecution,” Granger said on his reason for running. “During my time in private practice, police officers frequently nudged me to run for DA, but I always balked only because I tend to avoid politics. The idea of campaigning turned me off.
“Then in September 2021, a deputy friend of mine who had always encouraged me to run for the office passed away in the line of duty. His unexpected death shook a lot of people. For me, I’ve never been able to stop thinking about his frequent encouragement for me to run for district attorney. His death also reinforced just how unpredictable and short life can be. So, I decided that I needed to step up and pursue my dream or the opportunity would pass unfulfilled.”
“I also see an immediate need for significant changes in the District Attorney’s Office to bring the caseloads under control and to improve the trial record of the office, which ranks at the lower end in the state,” Granger continued. “As I frequently work with officers, I also see the widespread frustrations that law enforcement agencies have with the current situation. I believe I can bring forth necessary changes to improve the performance and reputation of the prosecutor’s office.”
Granger said his primary goal if elected is to serve as a hands-on prosecutor and return to the days when the district attorney tried serious and violent crimes rather than serving solely as an administrator.
Granger resides with his wife of 27 years, Megan, in Blue Hill. They have one son.