A Maine state lawmaker and former high school principal has checked himself into rehab after state police say they caught him having sex with a woman who was not his wife in a commuter parking lot.
According to state police, a trooper on patrol Monday night discovered an intoxicated man and a woman having sex inside a van in the Park and Ride in West Gardiner. The woman, who owned the van, identified herself, but the man refused to give his name. It didn't take long for the trooper to figure out who he was because an empty vehicle with state legislature license plate was parked across the street at the Service Plaza.
The vehicle with the District 45 plate belongs to Democratic state Rep. Brian Jones, 56, of Freedom, Maine. He is charged with indecent conduct and failure to properly identify himself.
Through the House Speaker's office, Jones released a statement saying, "I am aware that the allegations made will be a source of embarrassment for my family and a cause for concern for my constituents. I am deeply embarrassed."
He attributed the incident to a drinking problem.
"I am taking steps to address my long term struggle with alcoholism that I believe is the cause of my behavior," said Jones.
According to his lawyer, fellow state lawmaker Mark Dion, he is now in treatment for his addiction.
The first term legislator is currently seeking reelection in his sprawling rural district that includes eight central Maine communities.
His Republican challenger, MaryAnne Kinney, who identifies herself as a conservative Catholic, said she would not make the allegations into a campaign issue.
"This is a personal issue for my opponent. I don't plan to use this against him. The truth will come out," Kinney said.
Within the district, voters expressed only mild concern about the alleged infidelity and charges.
"It wouldn't bother me, but it would my wife," Don Turner said.
"I try not to judge," said Misty Avery, "but I am married so it hits close to home."
The majority of constituents said if the allegations prove to be true, it won't effect their vote.
"Whether or not I vote for him has to do with what he'd do for community, not what he does with his personal life," Shilo Cushman said.
It is unclear at this time how long Jones will be in treatment or whether the incident will impact his plans to run for reelection.
Speaker of the House Mark Eves said the office is monitoring the situation.
"He has assured me that he intends to cooperate with the judicial process," said Eves. "I extend my support to his family during this difficult time."