The president of the Maine Sheriff's Association has been ousted after allegedly making unwanted solicitations for sex from employees and sending a sexually explicit photograph from his office while in uniform.
Oxford County Administrator Scott Cole said Sheriff Wayne Gallant admitted to sending the lewd picture to an unspecified recipient. He told county commissioners he regretted his actions, and then stepped down as head of the association. The Teamsters Local 340, which reprsents 23 sworn officers, told the Portland Press Herald he had received multiple reports of misconduct from Gallant's accusers.
Ray Cote confirmed to necn the details of the report, in which he said Gallant had allegedly 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.
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Additionally, Cote says, wrote a message to a male employee indicating he wanted to perform oral sex on him.
The Maine Sheriff's Association said in a statement they don't condone Gallant's "inappropriate actions." According to the association, Vice President Sheriff Kevin Joyce will serve as acting president.
"You shouldn't be doing that at work, and you shouldn't be doing that in uniform," Sheriff Joyce said. "This is a serious issue."
The Press Herald says 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.
Sheriff Gallant refused to answer questions about the incident Wednesday morning.
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.
According to Oxford County attorney Bryan Dench, county commissioners can write a report to the governor with concerns about a sheriff. The governor has the authority to act on the commissioners' complaints and remove the sheriff from office. According to Cole, Oxford County commissioners have no plans to take further action.
"I think we all respect the sheriff," said Cole. "He's a good police commander. I think [his conduct] is just human nature."
But some community members view the incident differently.
"I think there's some bad judgment there," said Oxford County resident Don Fogg. "[The Sheriff] probably ought to step down."