News of sexual allegations against two former Biddeford police officers, first reported by Benjamin Meiklejohn of the Courier, ” is taking the city by storm.” David Charns, WMTW news reporter, broke the news about the allegations on television to a larger audience just days after the Courier reported the same. With the media so controlled it’s a breath of fresh air that Ben and David have the courage to report on what needed reporting years ago.
On March 5, 2015 the Courier reported ” A man who grew up in Biddeford has turned to social media to begin a dialogue with city leaders about how to prevent child sexual abuse and provide resources to victims. Matt Lauzon, who now lives in Boston but grew up in Biddeford, said he was sexually abused by a former Biddeford police officer nearly two decades ago, but felt too afraid and ashamed of his experience to speak out about it to authorities.
Lauzon, who graduated from Biddeford High School in 2003, has filed a complaint with the Maine attorney general and requested an investigation into an officer who is now retired and living in Florida. Lauzon said he first approached the Biddeford Police Department about the alleged crime last fall.
In recent weeks, Lauzon started to publicly engage Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Mayor Alan Casavant on Facebook about how the community can prevent child abuse and support victims – while articulating details of an experience that left him struggling his whole adult life.
“I feel guilt and shame that I didn’t speak up sooner and that he’s never been convicted and now lives free and clear in Florida,” Lauzon posted, “and now that numerous people are telling me similar stories, I have nightmares about staying silent and letting this abuse happen to other young women and men, or letting silence lead to young women or men taking their own lives.”
Lauzon shared publicly on Facebook his experiences growing up in Biddeford and always feeling like the officer was watching him.
Beaupre said he is prohibited by law from talking about the officer being investigated by the attorney general, but takes seriously any criminal activity by the city’s police officers.
“There’s nothing worse than a criminal cop,” Beaupre said. “It puts a black eye on the whole agency.”’
Read more HERE.
Mar 12, 2015 David Charns, WMTW reports “Allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of a Biddeford police officer have been forwarded to the attorney general’s office.” View HERE.
March 12, 2015 the Courier reports “Public reacts to allegations.” Read more HERE.
April 8, 2015 David Charns, WMTW reports “3 men claim sexual abuse at hands of former Biddeford officer.” View HERE. “WMTW News 8 has learned the same state detective who looked into Alexander’s case in 2002 and 2003 is now investigating the new claims of abuse.”
On April 9, 2015 the Courier reported “Abuse alleged against second officer. Larry Ouellette said he was abused by former Biddeford police captain Norman Gaudette when he was 15 years old. Although the case was investigated by the state attorney general’s office, no charges were brought against the officer.
Ouellette, 43, said he is telling his story to bolster fellow Biddeford native Matt Lauzon, 30, who recently alleged former officer Stephen M. Dodd abused him when he was a boy. Lauzon first announced the allegations last month on his Facebook page. The case was forwarded to the attorney general’s office by the Biddeford Police Department.
Since then, another Biddeford man, Jonathan Clark, has also alleged that Dodd abused him and is requesting documents related to his case from the state attorney general’s office.
Dodd worked at Biddeford Police Department from 1978 until July 18, 2003. His last day of work was Dec. 19, 2002, and he went on leave the day after. Dodd was suspended in November 2002 pending an attorney general’s investigation. Police Chief Roger Beaupre said Dodd cited medical reasons for retiring after 25 years of employment.
Dodd surrendered his certificate of eligibility to work as a law enforcement or correction officer in Maine, effective July 18, 2003, upon retirement.
The attorney general’s office would not confirm or deny whether Dodd was or is the subject of an investigation, citing confidentiality statutes.
Ouellette filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documents from his case, which dates back to 1989- 90, but was told in a March 27 email sent by Assistant Attorney General Phyllis Gardiner that, after a search, the office has no records in response to his request.
“The records that we did have were forwarded to state archives some years ago, and we learned today upon checking that these particular records have been destroyed in the normal course of business per the retention schedule in place,” Gardiner wrote.
Ouellette has filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office regarding destruction of the files, maintaining that they could have been used in a current investigation related to Dodd and the Biddeford Police Department as a whole.”
Read more HERE.
On April 9, 2015 the Courier also reported “Allegations made against officer are similar. Robert Kalex, who no longer lives in Biddeford, alleges that former police captain Norman Gaudette initiated a sexual relationship with him when Kalex was 15.
Kalex, now 50, said his troubles began in the 1980s, when Gaudette took him under his wing. According to several previously published news reports, Gaudette was investigated by the attorney general for sexual misconduct in 1990. Assistant Attorney General Phyllis Gardiner would not confirm or deny that an investigation took place, however, citing statutory requirements.
The Courier contacted Gaudette last week for his response to the allegations.
“I don’t have anything to say about that,” Gaudette said. “Why don’t you ask the chief about that?”
Said Kalex, “I tried many years ago to get attention brought to this, but I couldn’t say something productive for the good of the community – (the police) turned it all around and used it against me.” Eventually, Kalex said he spoke to investigators from the Attorney General’s Office, not only about Gaudette, but about the Biddeford Police Department’s treatment of him after he alleged abuse by Gaudette.
“Nothing ever happened,” he said. “They had the knowledge, but it was shoved under the rug because these were high-standing officers.” Kalex said there are a dozen more people he alleges are victims of either former sergeant Stephen Dodd or Gaudette.
According to past communications between the Courier and the Biddeford Police Department – as well as sources who were interviewed – Dodd was investigated by the attorney general’s office in 2002. Police Chief Roger Beaupre declined to comment on the nature of the investigation, and now declines to confirm the existence of an investigation, citing statutory requirements.
In 2003, Dodd notified the Maine Criminal Justice Academy that he would surrender his law enforcement certificate, effective upon his resignation July 18 that year.
Since the Courier reported on March 5 about the complaint against Dodd, five more men in addition to Lauzon have alleged abuse by Dodd or Gaudette.
Read more HERE.
April 9, 2015 the Courier reports “Residents plan to attend the city council meeting Tuesday, April 21 to address recent allegations of child sex abuse that have surfaced against two former Biddeford police officers.” Read more HERE.
Apr 12, 2015 “The silence is over,” Matt Lauzon said in a recent YouTube video about the case. “And together, we are much stronger.” View video HERE.
The charges against Biddeford police officers has reached the ears of The Boston Globe.
April 16, 2015 the Courier reports “AG looks at cases that span decades. Amidst recent allegations of child sex abuse by two former police officers, several men who allege they were abused are questioning whether the Attorney General’s Office was negligent in prosecuting the officers earlier investigations.
Richard Alexander of South Portland said he interviewed in 2002 with Michael Pulire, an investigator from the Attorney General’s Office, that he was abused by then-officer Stephen Dodd. Alexander alleges that the abuse began in the mid- 1970s when Alexander was 10 years old and the abuse lasted for five years. Alexander said Pulire told him back in 2002 that Pulire was interviewing other people who may have also been abused by Dodd.
In February, Matt Lauzon, a Boston man who grew up in Biddeford, alleged on Facebook that he had been molested by Dodd as a child and had filed a complaint with the Biddeford Police Department, which was forwarded to Maine Attorney General Janet Mills. Pulire is also the investigator on Lauzon’s case.
After reading an article about Lauzon’s story in the Sentry several weeks ago, Alexander said he called Pulire to ask what happened with the investigation (theSentry covers news in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, and is owned by Mainely Media LLC, which also owns the Courier). Alexander said Pulire told him the investigation was “still open.”
When Alexander asked Pulire why it was taking so long to complete the investigation – which is still open 13 years after his initial interview – Alexander said Pulire told him, “Well, you know, Mr. Alexander, it’s an ongoing investigation.”
Dodd worked as a Biddeford policeman from 1978 until July 18, 2003. His last day on duty was Dec. 19, 2002, and he went on leave the day after. Dodd was suspended in November 2002 pending an attorney general’s investigation.
Dodd notified the Maine Criminal Justice Academy on June 25, 2003 that he would surrender his certificate of eligibility to work as a law enforcement or correction officer in Maine, effective July 18, 2003, upon his retirement.
Brian MacMaster, who was chairman of the academy, accepted Dodd’s surrender on July 8 that year. MacMaster was also director of investigations for the Maine Attorney General, responsible for overseeing the 2002 investigation of Dodd. MacMaster has been the director of investigations since 1984.
Biddeford resident Jonathan Clark, another man who alleges that Dodd abused him as a boy, said he too, was interviewed by Pulire in 2002, but the interview was one of the most embarrassing times of his life.
Clark said Pulire’s tactics were intimidating and he felt deterred from telling the whole story about the abuse; Clark said Pulire told him he would go to jail if he lied.
Lauzon, who initially submitted his complaint against Dodd to the Maine State Police in October, wrote on Facebook that he never received a response from the Maine State Police, but was instead contacted by a Biddeford detective.
“I felt very confused about who to reach out to, given that it involved a former Biddeford police officer, so I tried hard to reach someone outside their office,” wrote Lauzon. “Frankly, in retrospect, I’m not sure why they didn’t send me directly to the attorney general’s investigator given the nature of what I was reporting.”
As others have come forward alleging abuse by former Biddeford policemen, and claiming to have already cooperated with the attorney general more than 10 or 20 years ago, Lauzon has gotten increasingly frustrated with the absence of an indictment or arrest.
Lauzon has called for the city council to suspend Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk, to allow for a “fair and independent” investigation to occur.
For Alexander, who recently sat down with the Courier to tell his story (see “Man racked with guilt, PTSD after abuse” on 1), the fact that Dodd remains free causes him a lot of guilt. Alexander said when he first talked to Pulire back in 2002, Pulire mentioned that Dodd’s relationship with his foster son, Larry Carey, was also being investigated. Carey died at the age of 30 in 2000.
When Alexander read Lauzon’s story, he said it brought back guilty feelings. Alexander said if he had come forward earlier to accuse Dodd, perhaps he could have prevented Lauzon from being abused and Carey might still be alive.
With the attorney general failing to take action indicting Dodd, Alexander said feels it is important for others to know what he experienced, and hopes he can prevent others from being abused.” Read more HERE.
April 21, 2015 – Biddeford City Council meeting.
View council meeting HERE. (starts at 13:40)
“Victims call for Biddeford chief’s suspension pending investigation”, WMTW reporter, David Charns – View here.
WGME reporting “It was standing room only inside the Biddeford council meeting Tuesday night where alleged victims came forward with horrifying accusations.” View here.
Has anyone ever wondered why the mayor/city councilors stood back and watched this happen?
Has anyone made the connections from the Attorney General’s Office to the Criminal Justice Academy?
Has anyone wondered why the same investigators, who failed in their duties years ago, are back in the picture?
The non-compliance with the law, the lies, the violation of peoples’ rights, the obstruction of justice, the abuses – call it what you may – abuse is abuse and has long been the norm in the Biddeford PD. A full and fair investigation into the PD is warranted! And yes, it’s fully documented!
It takes a lot of courage to do what Matt, and others, have done. The truth must come to light and perpetrators (and aiders/abetters) must be held accountable, otherwise the pattern continues. The abuses, atrocities, brutalities inflicted upon the people of Biddeford, and other Mainers, have gone on way too long and must cease! Mainstream media has been the “shield” in protecting this corruption, until recently, when reporter Ben Meiklejohn (Bidd-Saco Courier) and WMTW reporter, David Charns had the courage to take the Biddeford bull by the horns….the right thing to do!
Matt, God put you on this path for a reason….stand tall, stay strong! You are not alone.
April 23, 2015 – David Charns, WMTW reports “Documents reveal more about accused Biddeford officer’s past.” View HERE.
April 30, 2015
The Courier reports ” Details emerge.” “Two former Biddeford police officers and a firefighter say they had suspicions about the behavior of another former officer, Stephen Dodd, whom four men allege abused them when they were children.
Steve Martin, who worked for the Biddeford Police Department from November 1979 to July 2006, said he worked as Dodd’s partner for most of his own tenure as a police officer.
Martin said he and other officers suspected Dodd liked younger men, but never saw anything suspicious to report. Martin said he believes other officers or former officers know more details about Dodd’s activities, but aren’t talking.
“We all felt that something wasn’t right,” Martin said of Dodd, “but we didn’t know.”
“Dodd had a foster son, Larry Carey, who died at age 30 in 2000, reportedly of liver failure. (See “Accused person had foster son, now deceased,” in the April 2 issue of the Courier.)
Lloyd Gaudette, another former police officer, who worked October 1976 to October 1997, said it was public knowledge on the police force that Carey was Dodd’s foster son, but one incident that occurred in the 1980s raised eyebrows. Gaudette said police had been called to Dodd’s residence because Carey had acted out in anger and stabbed Dodd’s waterbed repeatedly with a knife. Gaudette said another former officer, Alfie Lambert, took the police report on the incident and also said that Carey may have told Lambert things about Dodd. Lambert worked for the Biddeford Police Department from May 1977 to September 2002. Attempts to reach Lambert were unsuccessful. “People always said there was something going on, but nothing was done. I always suspected something,” Gaudette said.
Biddeford resident Jonathan Clark said he spoke to Michael Pulire, an investigator with the Maine Attorney General’s Office, in 2002 about sex abuse Clark alleges Dodd inflicted on him. Pulire also interviewed Richard Alexander in 2002 as part of an investigation. More than 13 years after Alexander first provided information to the Attorney General’s Office, Pulire told Alexander the investigation is still “ongoing.”
On March 30, Clark asked the attorney general to provide copies of documents from the 2002 investigation of Dodd in which he was a witness. That same day, Director of Investigations Brian MacMaster replied to Clark, “The documents you are requesting are confidential by law and cannot be provided,” citing Title 16, Section 804 of Maine statutes.
The Maine Legislature amended the statute of limitations in 1991 to allow prosecution at any time if the victim was under age 16 when incest, rape, or gross sexual assault were committed. However, the law applied only to future crimes and prior crimes where the previous statute of limitations had not run out.
State Representative Martin Grohman (D-Biddeford), said he would generally be in favor of removing the statute of limitations for all previous crimes as well, but would need to know more about the legality of doing so.
If everyone’s suspicions about Dodd are correct, Lloyd Gaudette added, then it is the silence that has allowed him to get away with his crimes for so long. “Either nobody would ever come forward, or nobody could ever prove it,” Gaudette said. “I had nothing concrete. If I did, I would have called the attorney general myself.”
In recent weeks, residents have called on city leaders to suspend Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk during the AG’s investigation.
Lloyd Gaudette said since the investigation is being conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, suspending Beaupre and Fisk would have little effect on the investigation.”
Read more HERE.
Fortune reports “Childhood sex abuse victims seek justice via Facebook. For more than 15 years, Boston entrepreneur Matt Lauzon carried a horrible secret that nearly drove him to suicide. He tried the proper channels. And, when that failed, he turned to social media.
When Lauzon began reaching out through proper channels, he ran into brick walls. Wary of a Biddeford Police Department that he felt might be partial to Dodd (who retired in 2003 at the age of 46 and moved to Florida), Lauzon eventually filled out a form on the Maine State Police website, but never heard back from them. Instead, he received an email from one of the Biddeford detectives who had originally gone to Lauzon’s home years earlier, asking him to come to the local station and give a verbal statement. Lauzon was told that the matter was then referred to the state Attorney General’s office, but he soon felt that he was getting the runaround.
Where he went next was Facebook.
Soon Lauzon was regularly posting about the situation, including copies of emails from city officials that seemed to reference the case. His attorney originally expressed concern about using social media in such a manner, but later acknowledged that the medium had helped to uncover many more alleged victims (including some who had gone to law enforcement much earlier than Lauzon, but to no avail). As of this morning, five other men have accused Dodd of abusing them as children.
Lauzon is scheduled to meet shortly with Maine Governor Paul LePage, who Lauzon says “has taken a lot of interest” in the situation.
Dodd’s attorney did not return a request for comment, and the Biddeford Police Department and Maine Attorney General’s office have said publicly that they cannot publicly discuss the situation.”
Read more HERE.
Evidence proves investigations by Brian MacMaster and Michael Pulire are less than a poor job performance.
Brian MacMaster has covered up for law enforcement in the past. Both he and Pulire have brushed crimes under the rug. Documented!
“Jonathan Clark and Richard Alexander spoke to investigator Michael Pulire in 2002. More than 13 years after Alexander first provided information to the Attorney General’s Office, Pulire told Alexander the investigation is still “ongoing”?
The years turn into decades while victims wait on the delayed investigations. People, and victims, are beginning to realize they are getting an obvious “run-around” with the rubber-stamped approval and co-operation from the Attorney General(s).
Lloyd Gaudette is right when he states, “it is the silence that has allowed him to get away with his crimes for so long.”
Lauzon filled out a form on the Maine State Police website, but never heard back from them.
Do you wonder why?
On July 24, 2011 correspondence was sent to John Morris, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety requesting his help with crimes committed due to the refusal of the Attorney General to investigate.
Pursuant to 25 MRS, Chap. 351: Department of Public Safety §2908. Police officers; powers and duties; cooperation, the Commissioner of Public Safety may expand the duties and powers of police officers beyond the duties and powers enumerated in this section to investigate, prosecute, serve process on and arrest violators of any law of this State.
Response from Commissioner John Morris. His response contradicts what the statute stated. Since his response, check that same statute 25 MRS, Chap. 351§2908, it’s been changed. (2009). Will the deceit ever end?
Relative to the subject of statute of limitations –
“The Maine Legislature amended the statute of limitations in 1991. State Representative Martin Grohman (D-Biddeford), said he would generally be in favor of removing the statute of limitations for all previous crimes as well, but would need to know more about the legality of doing so.”
The statute of limitations has long been used as an excuse to deny justice.
How did the statute of limitations come about? Rep. Grohman must ask ” What are the rules and regulations that govern this law?” If repugnant to the constitution, it’s an unlawful law. People have a right to due process and justice.
MAY 1, 2015
PPH reports “The Maine Attorney General’s Office confirmed in an email obtained Thursday by the Portland Press Herald that it is investigating an allegation that a former Biddeford police officer sexually assaulted a teenage boy in the late 1990s.
In the email, Attorney General’s Office spokesman Tim Feeley says the “allegation was referred to this office by the Biddeford Police Department.
JoAnne Fisk, deputy chief of the Biddeford department, provided the Press Herald with a copy of the email that was sent to WMTW-TV reporter David Charns. Fisk declined further comment when contacted Thursday night.
Boston resident Matthew Lauzon, who grew up in Biddeford, triggered a flurry of discussions about abuse on his Facebook page when he posted accusations last fall that former Biddeford police Officer Stephen M. Dodd sexually assaulted him more than decade ago. His allegations prompted Rick Alexander of South Portland to testify before the Biddeford City Council last month, accusing Dodd of raping him 40 years ago.
The 30-year-old Lauzon has previously told the Press Herald that Dodd – who was a police sergeant at the time – sexually assaulted him in the woods near their homes more than a decade ago. Lauzon said he filed a complaint against Dodd with the Biddeford police in October that was forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office. He wonders why the Attorney General’s Office only contacted him recently to request a statement.
“While it’s great to hear the AG confirm an investigation, I must admit I don’t understand why they waited six months to ask me for a statement. If they didn’t feel my initial statement was clear enough, why wait six months to ask for a clearer one?” Lauzon said in an email to the Press Herald on Thursday night.
Fisk confirmed that Lauzon’s complaint was forwarded to the attorney general soon after her department received it last fall.
“Admittedly, I don’t feel a sense of comfort,” Lauzon wrote in his email. “Recently, the Biddeford Police Department reached out directly to people alleging knowledge of sexual abuse by former officers, and Chief (Roger) Beaupre recently instructed me to send alleged victims to the Biddeford Police Department. Both of these things completely contradict that the AG is independently conducting an investigation and it worries me that the Biddeford police may be actively interfering with the AG investigation.
“At this time, I think it’s inappropriate for the attorney general or Biddeford Police Department to be conducting this investigation. I believe this is an investigation that should be performed by federal authorities.”
Lauzon’s attorney, Walt McKee of Augusta, said Thursday night that he is “confident” that his client is the individual referred to as the teenaged victim in Feeley’s email.
McKee said he is “conducting a parallel investigation” with the help of a private investigator he has hired to assist his staff.
“We want to make sure we have another set of eyes on this case,” McKee said. “The persons who committed the abuse and those who knew about it and allowed it to happen will all face civil action.”
Feeley’s email raised concerns that publicizing the investigation would hamper its progress.
Feeley said that while the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes was gradually eliminated by the Legislature, conduct alleged to have occurred many years ago may still be barred from prosecution by the limitations in place at the time. He did not elaborate on how this alleged crime might be affected by a statute of limitations.”
Read more HERE.
May 1, 2015 (video) “TheTruth | I was abused by a former Biddeford Police Officer” by Matt Lauzon. View video HERE.
May 1, 2015
WMTW reporter David Charns reports “In an email to WMTW the Maine Attorney General’s Office confirmed it is investigating allegations of sexual assault at the hands of a former Biddeford police officer in the late 1990s. The email from Tom Feeley was in response to an interview request from WMTW. The request was denied, in part, the office said, to uphold the integrity of its investigation.” Read more and view report HERE.
Relative to the statute of limitations. This is another tactic used as an excuse to deny justice and it works. They drag on cases for years then use the statute against the victims.
All laws are governed by rules/regulations. How did the statute of limitations come about? What are the rules and regulations that govern this statute? If repugnant to the constitution, it’s an unlawful law. People have a right to due process and justice.
May 4, 2015
PPH reports “The city of Biddeford and its police department are facing legal action – possibly from multiple sources – in connection with allegations of sexual abuse of minors by at least one former officer. Police leadership ‘knew or should have known’ about it, claims an attorney for people accusing a former officer of sexual abuse.
Walter McKee, attorney for several people who say they were sexually abused as children by a former Biddeford police officer said he is preparing to bring a lawsuit against the department for not stopping or preventing the assaults. “I’m not saying it was a hunch or gross speculation or anything like that. They either knew it was happening, or turned a blind eye to it,” McKee said.
Gene Libby the attorney for that former officer, Stephen Dodd, also is scrutinizing what information police officials have provided to the news media and to one outspoken victim – disclosures that could result in legal action if he believes confidentiality statutes were violated. He requested all correspondence related to the release of Dodd’s employment records, copies of all communications with Lauzon and copies of all correspondence, electronic or otherwise, with any journalist. The latter request does not specify a time frame or topic.
McKee said many of the witnesses his firm has contacted as part of the case are still in the Biddeford area. Even people who allege abuse that happened too long ago for criminal prosecution may be important witnesses, helping to shore up the cases of people who were abused more recently, he said.”
Read more HERE.
Gene R. Libby, Dodd’s attorney, served as District Attorney for York County between 1981-85. He continues to serve York County as General Counsel to the York County Commissioners and all County departments (Deeds, Probate, Sheriff, Corrections) since 1998.
Does this have an appearance of impropriety for a former DA, and General Counsel to government departments, to defend a private person?
May 4, 2015
WMTW reporter David Charns reports “Alleged Biddeford sexual abuse victim speaks exclusively about state’s response.
Lauzon: ‘There are far too many questions’
View exclusive interview with WMTW News 8, Matt Lauzon, click here.
May 5, 2015 – Biddeford City Council meeting.
Public addressing the council, view HERE. (starts at 25:52)
Bob Hower addresses the Biddeford City Council, view video HERE.
If an outsider can see……??
May 6, 2015
WMTW reporter David Charns reports “Tempers flare as alleged Biddeford sexual assault victims speak. Accusations of sexual assault flew during tonight’s Biddeford City Council meeting and afterward attendees called for city leaders to step down. Alleged victims and audience members at Tuesday night’s Biddeford City Council meeting called for city leaders to resign amid an investigation into sexual assault at the hands of two former city police officers.” Read more and view report HERE.
PPH reports “An emotional city council meeting broke into shouts and tears as sexual abuse victims and their supporters pleaded with city officials to suspend the police chief and deputy police chief amid allegations that two former officers abused teenage boys. Read more HERE.
WGME report “Alleged sexual abuse victims demand Biddeford chief, deputy chief be suspended.
After listening to an hour of public comment, the council abruptly ended the meeting to meet in executive session as residents, including sexual abuse victims, yelled at the mayor and councilors to take action.
In front of a standing room-only crowd, Matthew Lauzon said it is irresponsible for the police chief to stay on the job as the Attorney General’s Office investigates his allegation that former police officer Stephen Dodd sexually abused him in the late 1990s.
“I do not believe a fair and objective investigation is happening,” Lauzon, 30, said during his emotional five-minute speech to the council during its public comment session.” Read more and view report HERE.
May 7, 2015
Mayor Alan Casavant letter to Senator David Dutremble 5.7.15, click here.
Molly Lovell-Keely, managing editor of the Courier reports “Police commission mum on abuse allegations.”
Police commissioners are Roger Gagnon, Leo Simoneau, Ralph Croteau, Kevin Jacques and Chairman James Emerson. Jacques is brother to city attorney Keith Jacques.
“What is the city administration waiting for to take action? asked Ward 6 resident Bob Provencher at a meeting Tuesday, May 5. “Don’t wait for the police commission to take action because the chief has lined up some of his friends (on the commission). They will not take action, so as a result, we the citizens are not being represented.” Read more HERE.
May 8, 2015
WMTW reports “Biddeford mayor wants help in how to address abuse allegations.” View report and read more HERE.
May 9, 2015
Forum at the J. Richard Martin Community Center, read more HERE.
WMTW reporter David Charns reports “Former Biddeford cop sex abuse case deliberately thrown out, retired detective claims.” View report and read more HERE.
There are many “Assistant” Attorneys General in the Office of the Attorney General. The pattern of lies, deceit, cover ups, over the decades, “shocks the conscience.” To name few, Cheryl Harrington, Arthur Brennan (now active retired judge), Carmen Coulombe, Linda Conti, Francis Ackerman, David Lauren (special ass’t to (former) A.G. Andrew Ketterer, Brian MacMaster (Director of Investigations), Paul Gauvreau…
The pattern continues in the courtroom where former assistant attorneys general are elevated to judgeship.
Statement being read by Matt Lauzon – former Biddeford Police Detective Terry Davis identifies Eric Wright as the (now former) Assistant Attorney General who knowingly and purposefully did throw this case under the rug. View video HERE.
Eric E. Wright is Staff Attorney at the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection.
Police brutality, abuses, assaults are an accepted norm by the Maine Attorney General’s Office. Brian MacMaster’s (Chief Investigator) poor job performance, and politically motivated, should be of concern to all Mainers. Here is one more example of another cover up by Brian MacMaster.
York County Deputy Sheriff Clifford Scott’s Deposition (in part) regarding the A.G.’s “extensive investigation” conducted in this case – 10 minutes! View HERE.
York County internal investigation – (in part) Deputy Mary Dowdell’s statement, click here.
Maine State Police, Col. Alfred Skolfield letter, click here. No one from the A.G.’s office interviewed the victim.
For those who are interested, listen to this incident HERE.
May 10, 2015
WGME13 reports “More people claiming they were sexually abused by former Biddeford Police officers continue to come forward.” View report HERE.
May 12, 2015
WGME13 reports ” Biddeford petition calls for general meeting. After two emotional city council meetings, the group plans to once again demand answers and action. “I hope that they would go into executive council and decide on a vote to remove the chief and the deputy chief so that way it would allow other people, other victims to come forward and share their stories,” Luedke said.”
But Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant says that won’t happen. “There will be no council action, it’s simply a mechanism to hear, so once people have talked, the meeting is over,” Casavant said”. View report HERE.
PPH reports “Petition in Biddeford forces third hearing on sex abuse allegations against ex-officers. Mellisa Luedke submitted the petition to City Hall demanding a meeting on or before Wednesday. The city clerk’s office said Monday that it had received 172 signatures from Luedke and certified that 132 of them were by Biddeford residents – above the 100-signature threshold in the city charter. “Some people in the older generation think this should be kept quiet. They think we’re spoiling the city’s name,” Luedke said. “Then there were people who grabbed the clipboard out of my hand because they were ready to sign (the petition). It’s very emotional.” Read more HERE.
WMTW8 reports “Gov. Paul LePage will meet with alleged victim Matt Lauzon on Thursday to discuss Lauzon’s allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of a former Biddeford police officer, according to a State Sen. David Dutremble.
Retired Biddeford Police Detective Terry Davis released a statement claiming he investigated sexual abuse allegations against former police Capt. Norman Gaudette by alleged victim Larry Ouellette more than two decades ago. In his written statement, which was read at the forum Saturday, Davis claims that the Assistant Attorney General handling the case, who is no longer with the A.G.’s Office, told him he “did knowingly and purposely throw the case under the rug with the grand jury.” View report HERE.
May 13, 2015
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “Biddeford council sets special meeting on allegations for Tuesday. The special meeting is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. at City Hall. Petitioner wants time rescheduled. A professional facilitator has been asked to host. Mellisa Luedke, of Biddeford, successfully collected more than 100 valid signatures to force the council to meet. The city clerk verified the majority of those signatures Tuesday afternoon. Luedke has since asked the city to reschedule. I didn’t ask for a facilitator friend of yours to join my meeting,” Luedke wrote to Mayor Alan Casavant late Wednesday. “So you can cancel that. I know you are personal friends and that’s not going to work for the citizens. Also, I’ll need the 7 p.m. time. I work until 5 p.m. as well as the other citizens that would like to attend. Please try again.”‘ View report HERE.
WGME13 reports “Biddeford police chief breaks his silence. Chief Beaupre says he’s only staying silent because he’s being advised to do so by the city attorney and the Maine Attorney General’s Office. Chief Beaupre says he firmly believes when the investigation is over people’s fear that he had any role in the accusations will go away.
“There have been some reports generated to me. I’ve dealt with them honestly and I have not swept them under the rug contrary to what some people want to believe,” Chief Beaupre said.
The attorney general says the department has cooperated. There is a public meeting next week and the chief says he might be there.” View report HERE.
May 14, 2015
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “Matt Lauzon met with Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday. LePage said he is concerned about sexual abuse allegations and will do everything he can. “I’ve been there and I know what he’s talking about,” LePage said about Lauzon.
The governor told WMTW News 8 reporter David Charns if he could take action against the Maine Attorney General’s Office, he would.
Lauzon also said he has a meeting at the Attorney General’s Office, which had no comment on Thursday.” View report HERE.
WCSH6 report, view HERE.
PPH reports “Matt Lauzon meets with LePage; also is meeting with state investigators” Read more HERE.
The Courier reports “Larry Ouellette reflects on what it’s like to come forward after allegations. Ouellette spoke publicly for the first time Saturday, May 9, at the J. Richard Martin Community Center public forum.
The forum was sponsored by state Sen. David Dutremble, a Democrat from Biddeford, who has been charged by the city to pursue legislation related to where registered sex offenders can live, as well as how officials may comment on criminal investigations under Title 16.
“I wanted to talk so badly, but I was too involved in my own emotions to even begin to think of what to say. Furthermore, I would have felt mocked. I would have felt like it was a waste of time. Those guys wouldn’t have listened,” Ouellette said, referring to the council and mayor.
A detective at the time, Terry Davis, eventually did try to help Ouellette. Davis spoke to the Courier in an exclusive interview where he purports the Maine Attorney General’s Office swept Ouellette’s abuse and other allegations of abuse under the rug. (See “Blowing the whistle,” on page 1.)
As the investigation progressed, Ouellette met with former Assistant Attorney General Eric Wright in Augusta. Wright now works as a staff attorney for the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection under the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
“You’re instantly made to feel like a liar,” Ouellette said of the AG interview. “(Wright) said, ‘You realize, this is a man’s job you’re talking about here.’” In a recent interview Wright said he doesn’t remember the Gaudette case.
Davis had told Ouellette that there were more than 10 other witnesses in the case against Gaudette, which was headed to a grand jury. Ouellette was to be the main witness in the 1990 case, but when the morning came for him to testify, he got a phone call from the district attorney who said his testimony wasn’t needed.
“The wall of silence has been broken. It’s just incredible that we are where we are today. I thought it completely impossible.”’ Read more HERE.
The Courier reports “Terry Davis, former BPD detective, says the AG’s office purposely threw a case against a former police captain. Davis is claiming the Maine Attorney General’s Office rigged an investigation of police Capt. Norman Gaudette so Gaudette would not be indicted on charges of sexual misconduct.
In an exclusive interview with the Courier on Friday, May 8, Terry Davis, who worked for the department from 1986 to 2003, outlined details of what he said was one of the most negligent investigations he ever witnessed. Davis told the Courier he was blindsided in 1991 when investigators failed to call alleged victims to the stand at a grand jury indictment hearing at York County Superior Court, instead allowing Gaudette to defend himself to the jury without testimony from the accusers.
In early 1991, Davis said he and Gagne were notified by then-Assistant Attorney General Eric Wright to appear at a grand jury indictment hearing at York County Superior Court.
Davis said Wright told him in the briefing that he would ask him questions on the stand about when Ouellette first reported abuse and what he reported.
When Davis took the stand however, a different sequence of inquiries were rolled out. “He didn’t ask me anything about any of that, nor did he intend to,” Davis said. “I was totally blindsided. That was about the most unethical and bastardly thing a lawyer could do, never mind somebody who represented the state and its citizens. (Wright) should be disbarred. I felt it that day, and I feel it 20 years later … He acted as co-counsel to Capt. Gaudette.”
“I go out into the hallway, and I remember Gagne’s face. I told him, ‘You’re not going to believe what just took place.’ … then all of a sudden appears (attorney) Gene Libby walking with Gaudette and his wife,” Davis said, “and they walked right into the jury room and closed the door.
“My mind was so reeling … It was one big staged play.”
Libby was the district attorney for York County from 1981 to 1985 and is currently representing Stephen Dodd, another former Biddeford police officer currently facing allegations of sex abuse. Libby has not responded to repeated requests for comment about either Dodd or Gaudette.
In the months that followed, Davis said numerous detectives became involved in an investigation that yielded nearly a dozen people who were potential victims of Gaudette. The investigation started internally, overseen by Biddeford Capt. Royal Marcoux, and ended with Michael Pulire, an investigator for the Attorney General’s Office, he said.
Robert Poisson, who worked for the Biddeford Police Department from 1974 to May 14, 2015 2004 primarily as a patrolman, worked as a detective from 1984 to 1989. Poisson said he took a report of an allegation against Gaudette in 1989, but does not believe that complaint was ever forwarded for inclusion in the attorney general’s investigation.
In a May 15, 1991 article in the Journal Tribune, Gaudette’s lawyer said he had been cleared of sexual misconduct charges and would return to his job.
Earlier this year, Ouellette filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documents from his case, but was told in a March 27 email sent by Assistant Attorney General Phyllis Gardiner that the records had been destroyed.
“The records that we did have were forwarded to state archives some years ago, and we learned today upon checking that these particular records have been destroyed in the normal course of business per the retention schedule in place,” Gardiner wrote.
Wright said when he worked for the Attorney General’s Office all written reports were put into the archives.
“They were not (destroyed) to my knowledge,” Wright said.
According to documents sent by the Attorney General’s Office to the Courier, schedules for the destruction of records have been approved at various times for different categories of records.
James Tierney, a Democrat, was Maine’s attorney general from Jan. 6, 1981 to Jan. 6, 1991. Michael Carpenter, also a Democrat, became attorney general on Jan. 7, 1991. “Eric Wright was the assistant attorney general at the time,” Davis said. “I would have a hard time believing that the situation wasn’t at least discussed with the attorney general. If it wasn’t, Eric Wright really wielded power.
In recent months, Lauzon and his supporters have questioned why the attorney general assigned Pulire as the investigator, when he had previously investigated Dodd in 2002 to 2003, and failed to indict him.
Steve Rowe, a Democrat, was attorney general from 2001 to 2009 and during the investigation of Dodd.
Davis said even though the events took place such a long time ago, he remembers it as clearly as if it were yesterday. “It’s like the day a parent died. Some of us just don’t forget certain things that are traumatic in nature. I remember it clearly,” Davis said. “(The Twin Towers) is a good example: everyone does remember and will for the rest of their life.
“The bottom line is, if Detective Gagne ever comes forward and verifies this, the truth will come out. Don’t go with blind faith with the Attorney General’s Office.”’ Read more HERE.
Lauzon and his supporters are correct in questioning why the attorney general assigned Pulire as the investigator in this case. Terry Davis was “blindsided” by Eric Wright, but “thinks (Pulire) did a great job investigating this case, it’s just too bad it was all thrown under the bus.” It’s not the only case Pulire “threw under the bus.” Is this being credible and professional? In fairness to Terry, he was not with the PD at the time of Pulire’s concerted “staged play” with Chief Roger Beaupre and others.
May 16, 2015
WCSH6 reports “Mayor thanks LePage for meeting with alleged victim.” View report HERE.
Mayor Alan Casavant letter to Governor Paul LePage, HERE.
Residents collected signatures to compel the City Council to meet to hear their concerns about allegations against a retired police officer. The meeting will be held 5 to 7 p.m. May 19th in council chambers on the second floor of City Hall. John Alfano, who works as a mediator, will facilitate the meeting. Read more HERE.
The petitioners collected signatures to compel the City Council to convene a meeting….not an arbitrator. Will this John Alfano be the “mediator”?
May 17, 2015
BDN reports “After meeting with Matt Lauzon on Thursday, Governor LePage said he’ll do everything he can to help. Lauzon said he was encouraged by what he heard from the governor.
Lauzon said he doesn’t want the attorney general’s office investigating his rape allegations because he wants an independent entity brought in. But the governor says he doesn’t have control of that branch of government.
Lauzon publicly called on Biddeford’s police chief and deputy chief to step down. Now, Lauzon is expressing frustration with Biddeford’s Mayor Alan Casavant because on Thursday the mayor sent a note to the governor thanking him for meeting with Lauzon.
“I do not believe that it is genuine. I believe that it was a publicity stunt. I believe that it was an effort to do damage control,” Lauzon said.”
Read more HERE.
May 18, 2015
WMTW8 reports “Special Biddeford City Council meeting about sexual abuse allegations rescheduled to May 28 at 7 p.m.
PPH reports “A meeting between alleged sex abuse victims, their supporters and the Biddeford City Council has been postponed and moved to a larger venue.
After the general meeting was scheduled for 5 p.m. May 19, Casavant said he heard from resident Mellisa Luedke, who circulated the petition. He said she complained that the meeting was at an inconvenient time because of her work schedule. Casavant said he did not hear back from Luedke about an alternate date, but a new spokesman for the alleged abuse victims, former city councilor Melissa Bednarowski, stepped forward to help find a new time, he said. The meeting on May 28 will being at 7 p.m. The location has not been announced. The meeting will be facilitate by John Alfano of Hunt Alfano Arbitrators.
Bednarowski questioned the role of Alfano at the meeting and in a press release referred to herself as the facilitator of the general meeting.
Lauzon and Bednarowski are encouraging people to attend Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting to continue to push councilors to suspend Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Police Chief JoAnne Fisk, who led the police department when Dodd was investigated for similar allegations in 2002.”
Read more HERE.
May 19, 2015
Biddeford City Council, view HERE.
Council Meeting Agenda, click here. 2015.28) Amendment/Ch. 30, Emergency Services/Add New Article IV- Sex Offender Residency Restrictions (starts at 58:00)
PPH reports” Sex offender appears in audience as Biddeford council adopts residency restrictions” Read more HERE.
May 20, 2015
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “Biddeford city councilors passed an emergency ordinance Tuesday prohibiting sex offenders from living within 750 feet of schools or parks, but it was when a registered sex offender showed up that tensions rose. Councilors were discussing the ordinance when Mike McKeown, 49, a registered sex offender, came to the meeting to defend himself, he said.” View report HERE.
May 21, 2015
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “An emergency ordinance went into effect Wednesday at midnight prohibiting sex offenders moving to Biddeford from living near schools and parks.” View report HERE.
The Courier reports “In 2002, House Legislative Sentiment 852 was entered into the appendix of the legislative record, commending Gaudette for his service as a police officer: “Captain Norman Gaudette, of Biddeford, on the occasion of his retirement after 28 years with the Biddeford Police Department. We extend our appreciation to Captain Gaudette for his dedication to the people of his community and wish him well in his future endeavors.” The sentiment was supported by Biddeford’s entire legislative delegation. Read more HERE.
Maine House of Representatives – 120th Legislature, click here.
May 28, 2015
General meeting of the citizens
Biddeford High School Library
Thursday, May 28th at 7:00PM
The Courier reports “General meeting is Thursday; rules murky. Former Ward 4 City Councilor Melissa Bednarowski has offered to facilitate the meeting, with Alfano assisting as an advisor. Read more HERE.
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “Citizens hold meeting amid sex abuse allegations.” View report HERE.
May 29, 2015
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “City of souls in turmoil': Alleged victims, neighbors call for suspensions in Biddeford amid investigation.” View report HERE.
PPH reports “About 80 people attend a three-hour meeting to air grievances about the investigation and the response by city officials. Read more HERE.
PPH reports “Biddeford council plans meeting with police chief to discuss sex abuse allegations. Critics have called for the suspension of Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk, but Mayor Alan Casavant says the council won’t take action at Monday’s closed-door meeting. Read more HERE.
May 30, 2015
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “The lawyer representing two former Biddeford police officers accused of sexual abuse has broken his silence. Gene Libby sent a letter to WMTW News 8 saying past allegations against former Capt. Norman Gaudette were deemed legally insufficient. Read more HERE.
WCSH6 reports “The lawyer for a former Biddeford police officer, accused of sexually abusing young men, released a statement regarding recent reporting on Saturday.
Gene Libby said his client and his client’s family are being victimized. In his statement, Libby pointed to recent media reports where his claims his client has been part of “character assassination and their sensationalism.”
Libby goes on to discredit a former detective who has come forward claiming the department took part in a cover up of allegations 25-years-ago.” Read more HERE.
Attorney Gene Libby Press Release, HERE.
The General Public Citizens Meeting held on May 28th at the BHS Library will air on Ch3, click here.
Sun. 11am. & 10pm
May 31, 2015
WGME13 reports “CBS 13 is continuing to follow allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of former Biddeford police officers. Saturday the lawyer of one of those former officers, who CBS 13 is choosing not to name, has released a statement. Larry Ouellette is one of several alleged victims to go before Biddeford city leaders seeking justice for abuse they say happened when they were younger. Gene Libby, the attorney representing Ouellette’s alleged abuser, says these allegations are false.
Ouellette’s attorney, Walter McKee, calls the statement disappointing saying, “I was very disappointed to see more denial, more complete and utter unwillingness to accept any responsibility.”
Libby says his client was investigated and went before a Grand Jury in 1991. He wrote in his statement, “the Grand Jury found there was not sufficient probable cause to believe that a crime may have been committed.” View report and read more HERE.
WCSH6 reports “Attorney Gene Libby, who represents accused former Biddeford Police captain Norman Gaudette, breaks his silence.
“Terry Davis, a detective for the Biddeford Police Department at the time, has created a fiction, and the fiction is that assistant attorney general threw the case to the grand jury,” Libby said. “That is absolute fiction.”
Davis said the same thing about Libby’s story, telling NEWS CENTER he “look[s] forward to his fiction novel,” calling the claims the “same old song and dance Libby tried using many years ago.”
In a statement, a lawyer for Larry Ouellete, writes, “Unexplainably, Captain Gaudette somehow got to testify before a grand jury while Larry never did.” View report and read more HERE
Attorney (and former District Attorney) Gene Libby knows, or should know, that the accused NEVER appears before the grand jury. Should a true bill of indictment issue, the accused defends during a trial, with presentment of evidence and/or witnesses. However, this “judicial process” is not upheld in York County Superior Court…an egregious denial of due process.
Grand Jury, click here.
Jun 1, 2015
WMTW8 reports “Biddeford council meets with police officials in executive session. The Biddeford City Council held an executive session Monday night after hearing last week from alleged sexual abuse victims by former Biddeford police officers and other residents. Many in the city have called for the council to suspend the city’s police chief and deputy chief. No action was taken Monday.
Councilors are considering just what to do, if anything, with the police chief and deputy chief.
Mayor Alan Casavant said what was discussed will be taken into consideration in the future.
“I’m disappointed it’s taken this long, taken this much effort. But I am happy that there seems to be a productive, healthy dialogue that seems to be happening tonight,” said Matt Lauzon, an alleged victim.
Casavant said the matter is not an agenda item for the city council meeting Tuesday.
Councilors are “considering just what to do”; Mayor Casavant said “that was discussed will be taken into consideration in the future” and Casavant said “the matter is not an agenda item for the city council meeting Tuesday.”
Matt Lauzon, an alleged victim, states “”I’m disappointed it’s taken this long, taken this much effort. But I am happy that there seems to be a productive, healthy dialogue that seems to be happening tonight.”
Was this productive?
June 2, 2015
City Council Meeting June 2 2015, click here.
Councilor Roger Hurtubise’s motion to place the police chief and deputy chief on paid administrative was deferred to Attorney Harry Center. Center stated the motion “should be ruled out of order, it’s illegal.”
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilor Roger Hurtubise motioned to suspend Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Chief Joanne Fisk amid an investigation at the Attorney General’s Office.
Two other councilors joined Hurtubise in the motion, but Mayor Alan Casavant ruled them out of order.
“We’ve been saying this from day one. In fact, the other night when people were talking about the removal I specifically said you can’t do that because the individuals were not present,” Casavant said after the meeting.
Casavant said a law says as city personnel, Beaupre and Fisk are legally due a hearing if a vote were to take place. Casavant said he did not know if the law was a state or local one.
The council adjourned by saying it will meet about the chief and deputy chief Monday, June 8. The council will meet Thursday, June 4, with an opportunity for public comment.
A lawyer for Beaupre, who was at Tuesday’s meeting, said all questions for comment should be directed to Casavant. Fisk did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.” View report and read more HERE.
WCSH6 reports “A motion to put the Biddeford police chief and deputy chief on leave was deemed illegal. When Mayor Alan Casavant asked the city attorney if that motion is legal, the attorney said no.
Matt Lauzon said he believes the mayor is preventing councilors from getting certain information.
“I don’t think due process is happening,” he said. “I think that the mayor is obstructing justice.”
The city is holding a meeting Thursday, where residents will be able to discuss non-agenda items, including the allegations.
City councilors will hold an executive session meeting Monday. It hasn’t been decided yet whether the police chief and deputy chief will be there.” View report and read more HERE.
WCSH6 doesn’t name the “attorney.” It was Harry Center, former city solicitor during the tenure of Mayor James Grattelo. He’s back! He’s a partner in the law firm of Woodman Edmands Danylik Austin Smith & Jacques, P.A.
June 3, 2016
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “the city of Biddeford has hired an attorney to represent Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Police Chief Joanne Fisk amid sexual abuse allegations at the department, Mayor Alan Casavant said. City councilors met behind closed doors Monday with Beaupre, Fisk and Timothy J. Bryant, a partner at Preti Flaherty in Portland. Read more HERE.
How interesting! The victims claim the Attorney General, Janet Mills, is dragging out this investigation.
“When Republicans gained control of the Maine Legislature in 2010, Mills, a Democrat, was not reelected to another term. She joined the law firm Preti Flaherty in February 2011. When Democrats regained control of the Legislature in the 2012 elections, she was again chosen to be Attorney General.”
“Biddeford City Manager John Bubier confirmed to the Courier today that the city is paying for Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk’s legal counsel.” (Attorney Timothy Bryant – Preti Flaherty) View Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier, HERE.
June 4, 2015
Municipal Officers Meeting @ 7 pm
Online Video Stream, click here.
The Courier reports “Another man has come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against former police sergeant Stephen Dodd. Norman Girard, 53, of Old Orchard Beach, spoke at Biddeford’s general meeting of citizens on May 28, alleging that he and two other people close to him were sexually abused by Dodd on seperate occasions.
From 2002 to 2003, while Dodd was the subject of an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Girard said he was contacted by an investigator from that office, Michael Pulire, for information about alleged abuse that Dodd may have inflicted on him and the two other people.
Girard then wondered how the Catholic priest scandal resulted in convictions if statutes of limitations had been in place. Read more HERE.
PPH reports “Biddeford mayor calls for hard evidence from critics of police officials.
Backers of those who allege former police officers sexually abused them say they don’t trust officials enough to submit written statements. “If Sen. Dutremble or anybody else can show us any shred of misconduct by any current city employee – and I emphasize the word ‘current’ – then the council and I will act swiftly and appropriately,” Casavant said in his written statement. Read more HERE.
Mayor Casavant has viewed documentation of “misconduct by any current city employee.” He did nothing! He was advised by Attorney Keith Jacques!
Why is Center back? Does Harry Center have a contract with the city?
WCSH6 report: Biddeford mayor asks for proof of misconduct. View HERE.
WGME13 report: Biddeford sex abuse claims. Read more HERE.
WMTW8 report: Biddeford residents express divided opinions before council. Read more HERE.
June 08, 2015
Special Council Meeting – View HERE.
WMTW8 reporter David Charns reports “Biddeford’s City Council has voted 6-2 not to suspend its police chief and deputy chief amid an investigation at the Attorney General’s Office.
In a statement Monday, the council wrote in part, “after long and extensive review of all available information at this time, the Mayor and City Council will not be seeking to initiate any adverse employment action against Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre and or Deputy Chief Joanne Fisk.”
The council met in an executive session Monday to discuss the information available. The chief and deputy chief were not present. Read more HERE.
PPH reports “The Biddeford City Council passed a resolution on Monday saying it will not suspend the police chief or the deputy chief in the midst of a contentious sexual abuse scandal involving a former police officer.
Following a 90-minute executive session, the council voted 6-2 in favor of the resolution, which says there isn’t enough evidence to take “adverse employment action” against Police Chief Roger Beaupre or Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk.
Councilors Bob Mills and Robert Quattrone voted against the resolution. Absent from the meeting was Councilor Roger Hurtubise, the uncle of Matt Lauzon, the man whose allegations of abuse by a former police officer touched off the public outcry.
Lauzon declined to comment and left City Hall visibly upset after the vote.
City officials say the Attorney General’s Office has given no indication of wrongdoing by Beaupre and Fisk, and last week Mayor Alan Casavant requested residents pushing for their suspension provide him with evidence of mishandled cases.” Read more HERE.
It’s very curious that Councilor Bob Mills appears to be so concerned about this corruption and the victims. Mills’ comments appear to be appease both sides. With the evidence at hand, and viewed by Mayor Casavant (which dropped his jaw to his knees, stating “I didn’t know this was going on”, a full and fair investigation is warranted into the actions of Councilor Bob Mills and others, including city employees. This has also been brushed under the rug! Is this you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours?
“If Sen. Dutremble or anybody else can show us any shred of misconduct by any current city employee – and I emphasize the word ‘current’ – then the council and I will act swiftly and appropriately,” Casavant said in his written statement. Evidence of “misconduct by current city employees” is available! Sometimes you must look beyond a specific issue in order to achieve an intended goal. Food for thought.
June 11, 2015
The Courier reports “Council resolves to keep chiefs on duty.
Longtime resident Laura Seaver said she’s tired of city hall being “hijacked” by “one quarter of 1 percent” of the city’s population who are asking that the chief and deputy chief be put on paid administrative leave while an investigation is held into the alleged abuse of young boys by two former officers.
“I’m tired of hiding in the shadows,” Seaver said at the June 4 meeting. “I’ve been harassed.” Seaver was the first person to speak at a series of public meetings against putting Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Chief Joanne Fisk on paid administrative leave during an investigation being led by the Maine Attorney General’s Office. Seaver said she and her husband, Randy Seaver, a campaign volunteer for Mayor Alan Casavant, received phones calls and texts in the middle of the night and people driving by their home because of their stance on the issue.
“If (Sen.) Dutremble or anybody else can show us any shred of misconduct by any current city employee – and I emphasize the word ‘current’ – then the council and I will act swiftly and appropriately. What I am suggesting is that submitting hard and factual evidence is a much more effective and direct route to justice than whispers, hysteria and innuendo posted indiscriminately on Facebook,” Casavant wrote in the press release.
Seaver added that according to an April 30 letter by Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, “preliminary investigation shows no wrongdoing” by Biddeford Police Department officials.
In the press release, Casavant called Dutremble and alleged abuse victim Matt Lauzon “vociferous” in public meetings and social media.
“Dutremble dramatically waved a folder full of ‘victim statements’ in the air, but to date, he has not submitted any written statements to the city attorney, the city manager, the city council or the mayor,” Casavant wrote.
Lauzon’s mother, Debbie Lauzon, spoke after Seaver, noting that Seaver’s husband called Matt Lauzon a “(expletive) sucker” during a phone conversation. See “Mayoral advisor to ‘step away,’” in the May 7 Courier.
Daniel Parenteau said a lack of understanding surrounding paid administrative leave may have caused confusion at a council meeting earlier in the week on Tuesday, June 2. Councilor Hurtubise, Matt Lauzon’s uncle, made a motion to take a vote on placing the officials on leave
City Attorney Harry Center, filling in for Keith Jacques, ruled the motion “illegal.”
Parenteau called Center’s opinion “convoluted” and “Ill advised.” “So this circling of wagons and only representing two employees, you effectively turn your back on 22,000 other citizens who are left to fend for themselves. I think that’s a travesty. I recommend you reconsider the option of paid administrative leave and lead from your heart instead of listening to the ill advice of paid sycophants whose only skin in the game are billable hours.”’
Read more HERE.
The Courier also reports “The city hired an attorney for Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk amidst allegations that two former police officers sexually abused men decades ago. In an email to the Courier, City Manager wrote that under statute, “the defense and indemnification of (an) employee is allowed for an act or omission that has occurred within the course and scope of employment.Attorney Timothy Bryant, of Preti Flaherty law firm in Portland, is representing the chiefs.”
“As of the Courier’s deadline, Koehler said he had not yet received any bills from Preti Flaherty for fees associated with the chiefs’ legal representation. Preti Flaherty, which the city uses for legal assistance related to debts and bonds, is one of several firms the city has an open account with, Koehler said.”
“City Solicitor Keith Jacques, of the Biddeford firm Woodman Edmands Danylik Austin Smith & Jacques, represents the city, which Koehler said precludes that firm from representing the chiefs because of potential conflicts of interest.”
“Keith would have a conflict of interest (in representing the chief) if the chief came after us because he didn’t think he was treated right,” Koehler said.”
“In addition to Jacques’ firm and Preti Flaherty, Koehler said the city also contracts with Bernstein Shur of Portland to do some work around tax increment financing for the economic and community development office. The city also contracts with a tax evaluation specialist, he added.
“Sometimes you need a specialist,” Koehler said.”
Read more HERE.
Laura Seaver states she’s “been harassed.” “Seaver was the first person to speak at a series of public meetings against putting Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Chief Joanne Fisk on paid administrative leave.” Her husband Randy Seaver “is a campaign volunteer for Mayor Alan Casavant” and was a reporter for the Courier a few years back. His “yellow journalism” demonized people in his articles. His “All Along The Watchtower” public access tv talk shows, with guest Mayor Jim Grattelo, apparently was his source for “conspiracy theories.” This IS beyond harassment! Perhaps the people of Biddeford will eventually understand that the “theories” are not “theories”, but “fact.”
The City of Biddeford has a paid attorney…..how many law firms do they have in their “pocket?”
June 18, 2015
The Courier reports ” Attorney Walter McKee, who represents Matt Lauzon, responded last week to an offer by Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson to review Lauzon’s case for possible prosecution – but with conditions.
“I’ve never seen it before,” McKee said of the conditions Anderson asked Lauzon to accept in exchange for reviewing the case.
“A victim of a crime is entitled to have a prosecutor review what happened and make a decision whether to prosecute. To condition that review, let alone prosecution – I was dumbfounded.”
Allegations of crimes that took place in York County would generally be reviewed by the office of the York County district attorney, McKee said. However, since Lauzon’s allegations involve a police officer in a department that the district attorney’s office works with, McKee said the district attorney may want to avoid a conflict by turning the case over to another district attorney.
Anderson said she didn’t know why Slattery didn’t want to review Lauzon’s case in York County where the alleged crimes occurred.
“(The Cumberland County) office handles criminal complaints against officers,” Anderson said. “We don’t ‘conflict’ that out.”
McKee said he did find it unusual for Anderson to request that Lauzon agree to certain conditions in order for the Cumberland County office to review his case. According to McKee, Anderson wanted Lauzon to submit all his investigative materials, release medical and psychological records, and waive his rights for any report or conclusion on his allegations to remain confidential.
On his blog titled, “Tall Guy from Maine,”at http:// mattlauzon.tumblr.com, Lauzon wrote that Anderson had called him with an investigator from the Attorney General’s Office also on the line, offering to review the case. Anderson confirmed that the investigator was Detective Michael Pulire.
“In exchange, she requested I waive my rights normally entitled to a victim,” Lauzon wrote. “After talking to multiple experts, I could not find a single one that had ever seen such a request presented to a victim.”
Read more HERE.
June 20, 2015
PPH reports “Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson says she will not prosecute allegations of sexual abuse by a former Biddeford police officer because the man who says he was abused did not agree to a list of conditions, including that he turn over additional information and provide his medical records.
The Attorney General’s Office was called in to investigate the case because the Biddeford Police Department might have a conflict investigating one of its former officers and because of the allegations against the department command staff. Similarly, the York County District Attorney’s Office – which would normally prosecute a case of sexual molestation in that county – opted out of the case to avoid the appearance of a conflict because of its working relationship with Biddeford police.
Brian MacMaster, head of investigations for the Attorney General’s Office, asked Anderson to consider taking the case as the prosecutor who would review the evidence and, if warranted, pursue a criminal case.
Anderson said her decision not to agree to take the case should not be construed as exonerating Dodd, though she would not elaborate.
She said some other district attorney or prosecutors in the Attorney General’s Office could take on the case.” Read more HERE.
The “spotlight” is on high! How much more can the A.G.’s office and the DA’s concoct for excuses when the reasons for “brushing this under the rug” are so blatantly obvious.
June 25, 2015
Ben Meiklejohn reports “BREAKING NEWS: The Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Courier, reporter Ben Meiklejohn and managing editor Molly Lovell-Keely being sued by former police officer Norman Gaudette, represented by attorney Gene Libby, for reporting on allegations that Gaudette sexually abused boys decades ago.”
WCSH6 news report, view HERE.
PPH reports “Retired officer Norman Gaudette and his wife sue Mainely Media LLC, an editor and a reporter, accusing them of publishing false and misleading information on an issue that has roiled the city.
Attorney Gene Libby who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Norman and Joanne Gaudette called the 29 articles published in the Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Courier since April 9 an unsubstantiated “smear campaign” against Norman Gaudette that has “wrought havoc” on his family.
The lawsuit against Mainely Media LLC, editor Molly Lovell-Keely and reporter Ben Meiklejohn was filed in York County Superior Court in Alfred. It comes on the heels of another defamation lawsuit filed by Gaudette on June 1 against former Biddeford police Detective Terry Davis over a letter Davis wrote to the Courier about Gaudette and statements attributed to Davis in the newspaper.
“You can only be abusive and irresponsible and attempt to smear an individual for so long before you are held responsible,” Libby said in a phone call Thursday. “My anger at the Courier is because it has abused its journalistic privilege by publishing misleading and false information that has done an extensive amount of damage to the family of the Gaudettes.”
Lovell-Keely and Meiklejohn responded separately to emails seeking comment, saying they “have been advised not to comment at this point in time.”
Although many other news outlets have mentioned Gaudette and the accusations against him in recent news reports, Libby said only Mainely Maine LLC and its staff are being sued because other news outlets reported only information that has been verified or attributed to an identified source.
“I don’t see any other media engaged in such shoddy journalism,” Libby said.
Read more HERE.
A few points to ponder:
Gene R. Libby, Dodd’s attorney, served as District Attorney for York County between 1981-85. He continues to serve York County as General Counsel to the York County Commissioners and all County departments (Deeds, Probate, Sheriff, Corrections) since 1998.
Randy Seaver “is a campaign volunteer for Mayor Alan Casavant” and was a reporter for the Courier a few years back. His “yellow journalism” demonized people in his articles. Today, he has a close relationship with the Mayor.
The Courier was willing to report the other side of the story, giving the victims an avenue in which to speak. Is freedom of speech denied in the City of Biddeford? You bet!
Biddeford I’ll See You In Court, click here.
Is Attorney Libby being “selective” with his lawsuits?