Washington County sheriff who says officer’s assault claim was hoax to discuss case with commissioners
MACHIAS, Maine — Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith will make his case Thursday for firing a Washington County Jail corrections officer who Smith claims falsified a report that he was assaulted on Oct. 29 outside the county jail.
Smith will meet behind closed doors with the Washington County commissioners during their regular monthly meeting on Dec.13. He will ask the commissioners to terminate the employment of Sgt. Troy Lyons, 39, of Lubec after 12 years on the job.
Smith claims that an in-house investigation determined the assault was a hoax and that the injuries for which Lyons was treated at Down East Community Hospital in Machias were self-inflicted. Lyons denies those allegations.
In his version of how he came to be injured, Lyons said he was outside the jail around 10:30 p.m, talking on a cellphone, when he saw a shadow moving along a fenceline on the jail’s perimeter. When he went to investigate, he said, he was struck and fell to the ground. Lyons said he recalls hearing a vehicle speed off immediately after he went down.
Lyons said his injuries included cuts on his face and injuries to his chest, one shoulder and a knee.
Smith asked Lyons to agree to a polygraph examination “so we could clear him of this issue,” but Lyons declined on the advice of the labor union that represents the county’s corrections officers. Lyons told the Bangor Daily News he will be represented by union officials at his termination hearing.
Asked to specify how the in-house investigators came to the conclusion that Lyons is lying, Smith declined comment, saying it was a matter he couldn’t discuss before his session Thursday with the county commissioners. The area where Lyons claims he was assaulted is not under video surveillance, Smith said.
Also refusing comment is Machias Police Chief Grady Dwelley. His department has been tasked with deciding if any criminal charges should be filed against Lyons should it be determined that he falsified an assault report.
Lyons has been on suspension with pay during the ongoing investigation.
A call to Lyons on Monday morning for comment on the situation was not immediately returned.