May 20, 2018
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Orient officials to replace town assessor

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

ORIENT, Maine — The town is in the market for a new assessor after the Board of Selectmen decided to replace Mary Beth Foley, who had held the position for close to five years.

Town Clerk Alicia Silkey said Thursday that the decision had “nothing to do” with a situation involving Foley in Ludlow, where she recently was suspended from the position of town manager.

During a regular selectmen’s meeting Wednesday, Silkey said, the Orient board decided not to keep Foley in her position as the town’s assessor. Silkey said the town would begin looking for a replacement immediately.

Foley, who lives in Orient, is also the chair of the town’s Board of Selectmen. She did not attend the meeting, according to Silkey.

Silkey said Foley remains on the board. She declined to give reasons for the board’s decision and referred questions to Selectman Victor Alexander.

Alexander could not be reached for comment Thursday.

“It has nothing to do with what is going on in Ludlow,” said Silkey. “It is not about that at all.”

Foley was Ludlow’s town manager for 14 years, and was suspended without pay last month by the Ludlow Board of Selectmen.

The suspension came after the state auditor subpoenaed financial records from Ludlow for fiscal years 2007, 2008 and 2009. The auditor received a complaint and verified that the state had not received several years’ worth of municipal audits from Ludlow.

Foley was suspended after selectmen asked her for financial records and a copy of the town’s audit. Foley reportedly never gave the board the material it asked for, and she subsequently was suspended without pay.

Along with the audit conducted by the state, the board has authorized a private audit on behalf of the town to look at Ludlow’s finances for the past two years. The town office has been closed since Foley was suspended.

Foley could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Orient, an Aroostook County town of about 244 people, is on U.S. Route 1, just north of Danforth. Ludlow, with about 420 people, is seven miles west of Houlton in Aroostook County.

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