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Ousting of Town Manager, Departure of Clerk Bewilder Residents

Residents of a Maine community are looking for answers after their town manager was voted out of office and police escorted a town clerk out of her office.

Town Manager Zakk Maher was put on administrative leave after he was voted out. Days later, Miranda Hinkley, a town clerk, was forced to leave the town office.

The incidents have left residents filled of questions, suspicion and befuddlement.

"He's just confused because he doesn't understand the basis for terminating him," said Adam Lee, an attorney representing.

According to Lee, the council's reasons for considering Maher's dismissal included "failure of communication with town council and failure to comply with directives of the town council," but "no specific instances" were listed.

The situation came to a head Tuesday, when a meeting was held to discuss Maher's replacement.

Residents demanded a more clear explanation for the sudden staff change.

Julie Turner of Mechanic Falls described the situation as "fishy."

"Taxpayers pay their salary, and we have a right to know what's going on," she said.

The incidents have also been a topic of discussion at Sheila's Hair Salon downtown.

Owner Sheila Fennesson says she's had supporters of the town council and town manager in her office, but she isn't taking a side herself, staying "neutral" because she's a business owner.

"I've heard a bunch of different stories," she said. "Hopefully it gets resolved and everybody can keep on keeping on."

Town leaders, including the town's interim manager, Fred Collins, and town council have remained quiet on the matter publicly.

Collins referred questions to the town's lawyer on Thursday.

Hinkley, the former clerk, responded to a Facebook message saying she resigned from the town because she "did not want [her] name associated with what's going on there."

Calls to the lawyers representing the town of Mechanic Falls were not immediately returned.

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