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Embattled Maine Capitol Police Chief temporarily removed from post

Lieutenant Robert Elliot, a 32-year veteran of the force, is temporarily leading the Bureau of Capitol Police, according to a spokesperson.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Embattled Maine Capitol Police Chief Russell Gauvin has temporarily been removed from his post pending an investigation.

Lieutenant Robert Elliot, a 32-year veteran of the force, is temporarily leading the Bureau of Capitol Police, according to a spokesperson.

At least 70 state lawmakers called for Gauvin to be placed on administrative leave immediately in a letter to Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck Monday.

RELATED: Maine lawmakers call for embattled Capitol Police Chief to be placed on administrative leave

Sauschuck has called for a full review after a report Friday in the Portland-based alternative news publication Mainer shared months of Gauvin's politically-charged social media posts.

The report showed screenshots of posts that have since been deleted, including one that questioned the usefulness of wearing masks to combat the spread of COVID-19. Another suggested law enforcement officers eligible for retirement might do so after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Credit: Mainer

"[Sauschuck] was troubled and concerned by what he read and has asked that the matter be reviewed through the existing personnel process to determine whether any State policies were violated," spokesperson Katy England told NEWS CENTER Maine. 

Officials could not comment further citing "an ongoing personnel related matter."

Gauvin issued an apology last week calling the posts he shared "inconsistent' with his professional responsibilities.

RELATED: Mills requests investigation after chief of Capitol Police apologizes for social media posts

"I certainly never intended for my social media account to ever bring my commitment to fair and professional law enforcement into question," he said in a statement. 

The Governor's Office did not immediately return our request for comment.

This story will be updated.

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