Gouldsboro police chief cites false charges against him in resignation

GOULDSBORO — After 3.5 years of service to the town, Police Chief John Shively is moving on, having submitted a letter of resignation earlier this week. His last day is Friday, May 7.

Early Thursday, Shively confirmed that he is stepping down after submitting the letter on Tuesday. He is pursuing multiple professional options. Following an executive session Thursday night, selectmen directed Town Manager Andrea Sirois to advertise the police chief position in a 5-0 vote.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Dana Rice confirmed the town’s receipt of the police chief’s letter and said he “will reluctantly accept his resignation with regret” at the board’s next regular meeting Thursday, May 13.

Shively’s sudden departure prompted Town Manager Andrea Sirois to reach out to various law enforcement agencies and individuals with prior policing background to formulate an interim plan and ensure round-the-clock coverage of the town. After May 7, Officer Adam Brackett will be the sole police officer employed by the town.

Sirois said she was forging a plan to “provide the level of service that the town deserves in the most efficient and effective way possible.” As Shively’s supervisor, the town manager said she had already accepted his resignation and “thanked him for his dedicated service and wished him the best.”

In his resignation letter, Shively noted that a series of complaints lodged against him “had been thoroughly investigated and all had been determined to be unfounded — including the most recent — in which I passed a polygraph. I just discovered that these previous same complaints were presented to the [Hancock County] District Attorney’s Office in my absence.”

In the letter, Shively says he suggested the town contract services from the Sheriff’s Department given “the current political climate in town.” He also expressed a willingness to remain until mid-June to provide a smooth transition.

Referencing a referral of complaints against him, Shively said he planned to take the matter up with the Hancock County District Attorney’s Office.

“As you probably know by now, the Giglio report was sent to them in my absence, without my knowledge. I was never contacted by the District Attorney’s Office and have not been to this day.”

Four days before typing up his resignation letter, Shively was present at the selectmen’s April 29 meeting, where the board voted 4-0 to get a quote from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department for “two 40-hour shifts” by deputies. On April 15, selectmen had voted 5-0 to hire a third-party mediator for the Police Department. Those services, which cost $400 per hour for an estimated 20 hours, were expected to total $8,000.

Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]

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