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Superintendent of Long Creek resigns amid internal investigation

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The head of the Long Creek Youth Development Center has resigned.

Jeff Merrill handed his resignation letter to Department of Corrections commissioner Joe Fitzpatrick over the weekend.

Merrill said he is stepping down for personal reasons. He had been the subject of an internal investigation.

A transgender inmate killed himself at the center several months ago while housed in the girls unit.

Three other teenagers also took state police on a chase down the Maine Turnpike after they allegedly stole a car and left a weekend outing in Carrabassett Valley. That chase ended in a crash.

Fitzpatrick said now that Merrill has resigned, the investigation has been discontinued. He also said Colin O’Neill will serve as the interim head of the detention center until a permanent replacement is named.

The DOC commissioner said he has the utmost confidence in his staff and that the kids at the center remain their number one priority.