Complaint to Be Issued to Remove Maine Sheriff From Office

Commissioners in Maine's Oxford County have voted to file a complaint to Gov. Paul LePage to remove a sheriff under investigation for allegedly sending sexually explicit photographs.

A closed-door meeting was held Tuesday as commissioners met to discuss the investigation against Sheriff Wayne Gallant.

WCSH reports the South Paris meeting was originally open to the public, but soon shifted to a private setting with County Attorney Brian Dench.

Oxford County Administrator Scott Cole said last month that Gallant admitted to sending a sexually explicit photograph from his office while in uniform to an unspecified recipient. Gallant told county commissioners he regretted his actions, and then stepped down as head of the Maine Sheriff's Association.

Ray Cote, a business agent for a union that represents 23 sworn officers, confirmed he had received multiple reports of misconduct from Gallant's accusers, which had originally been reported by the Portland Press Herald.

The sexual misconduct reports allege Gallant had sent multiple explicit photographs to a male deputy's girlfriend and requested to have sex with the couple. When this offer was rejected, Gallant allegedly threatened the deputy's job.

Additionally, Cote said, Gallant wrote a message to a male employee indicating he wanted to perform oral sex on him.

The Press Herald said it received copies of four images showing Gallant's genitals. His face was reportedly visible in three of the images, including the one showing him in uniform.

When asked if Gallant could be placed on leave, commissioners said Tuesday they did not have the authority to do so.

Gallant was elected Oxford county sheriff in 2006 and was in his third term. He had served as president of the sheriff's association since January.

Commissioners said following the meeting that they plan to hear from another person regarding the investigation, but would not specify who. 

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