*UPDATE* 11/22 4:45 p.m. – Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant is under investigation by the county. A representative for the union representing deputies, claims it is for texting lewd pictures of himself and propositioning at least 2 employees for sex.
Oxford County Administrator Scott Coles confirms to NEWS CENTER that the Commissioners authorized an independent investigation of the Sheriff a week and a half ago, after they received information that " required further review." He says they felt compelled to do so, but he would not comment further.
Ray Cote, a representative of Teamsters Union 340, which represents deputies, says the investigation is in response to complaints to the union from Sheriff's Office employees who claim the Sheriff asked them for sex, and sent inappropriate photos of himself.
Cote refuses to identify the accusers. He says one claims Gallant sent lewd photos of himself to a deputy's girlfriend, and suggested that all three have sex. According to Cote, when the deputy confronted Gallant and rebuffed his advances, the sheriff threatened his job. NEWS CENTER has obtained those photos. They show both Gallant's face and genitalia.
Cote said another complaint accuses Gallant of writing a message on his phone stating he wanted to perform oral sex on a male employee, and then showing it to that employee.
A media outlet confronted Sheriff Gallant about one sexually explicit photo someone had provided to it last night. NEWS CENTER has also obtained that photo. It not only shows Gallant's face, but he is in uniform and appears to be in the Sheriff's Department.
Oxford County Administrator Scott Cole tells NEWS CENTER that Sheriff Wayne Gallant, after being confronted by a reporter, confessed to Commissioners. " He came in and said I made a bad move." Cole says. "He owned it and that was it. End of conversation." Cole said nothing at that point about an ongoing investigation. He only confirmed that when presented with evidence of other photos and complaints.
This morning, Gallant stepped down as head of the Maine Sheriff's Association. He has not resigned his position as Sheriff. Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce,, who has been named interim President of the MSA, says the organization does not condone Gallant's actions. Personally he expressed anger that the uniform was disrespected in this way. He stopped short of calling for Gallant to step down. He says that is up to the people of Oxford County. But Joyce did say all the facts in this case need to come out.
This story will continue to be updated.
SOUTH PARIS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The sheriff of Oxford County is no longer head of the Maine Sheriffs' Association, the organization confirmed in a release late Tuesday night.
Sheriff Wayne Gallant is now a former association president due to what's described as "inappropriate actions," that of which the association "do[es] not condone."
This comes in response to what's only referred to as an "incident" involving Sheriff Gallant.
Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce, formerly 1st vice president, has been appointed to serve as acting president of the association.
The Sheriffs' Association was established in 1976 and includes all 16 of Maine's sheriffs, as well as their chief deputies, jail administrators, and patrol supervisors.