Gouldsboro: Board votes to fire police chief

Posted July 26, 2008, at 12 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 28, 2011, at 12:09 a.m.

GOULDSBORO, Maine -&nbspFor the second time in the past seven years, Guy Wycoff has been fired from his job as the local chief of police.

The Board of Selectmen had fired Wycoff in July 2002 but he was reinstated to his job after the board reversed its decision a few weeks later.

On Saturday, Selectman Dana Rice said the board voted Thursday to fire Wycoff again. Citing the public record, Rice said the board held a no-confidence vote about Wycoff immediately before voting on whether to fire him. Both votes passed, resulting in the chief’ s immediate termination, he said.

Rice declined further comment on the actions taken against Wycoff.

He did say that the board had been looking into the possibility of eliminating the job of police chief and having two officers share administrative duties, possibly with the town manager. The idea, he said, was to free up more time for the officers so there would be more patrols.

“We were trying to provide better services to the town,” Rice said.

Attempts on Saturday to contact Wycoff have been unsuccessful.

According to Gouldsboro Town Manager Eve Wilkinson, Wycoff had been suspended for three days in late June and earlier this month for insubordination. She said selectmen, who voted June 26 to suspend Wycoff, did not publicly elaborate about their insubordination finding.

In accordance with Maine law, personnel discussions are held in executive sessions, which are not open to the public, unless the employee whose job performance is being discussed requests that the deliberations be held in public session. Binding votes on any municipal employee’ s employment status are required to be held in public.

If selectmen had decided to do away with the chief’ s position, and if Wycoff had not been fired, he would have been given the option of continuing to work as a local police officer, according to Wilkinson. If Wycoff had stayed employed as a local police officer, his pay would not have changed, regardless of whether the chief’ s position were eliminated, she said.

Wilkinson said selectmen still are thinking about eliminating the position of police chief.

“That was just beginning to be discussed,” she said of reorganizing the department.

Wilkinson said Gouldsboro residents should not worry that Wycoff’ s firing might have an adverse affect on local police patrols. The town still has three police officers who will respond to emergency calls and other complaints, she said.

“I’ m confident they’ ll continue to provide excellent service,” Wilkinson said. “I don’ t think they’ ll miss a beat.”

Wycoff was fired by selectmen in 2002 after a dispute arose between him and the town manager at the time, Linda Pagels-Wentworth. Pagels-Wentworth, who is now the administrator for Washington County, had accused Wycoff of falsifying some of his time sheets.

Selectmen reversed their 2002 decision wthin a few weeks after Wycoff and his attorney at the time demonstrated at a public personnel hearing that the chief had not falsified his time sheets. Wycoff had juggled his schedule to appear in court in June of that year, they said at the hearing, but had not misrepresented when he worked.

Wycoff has served as Gouldboro’ s police chief since 2000.

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