ELLSWORTH, Maine — Incidents of domestic violence have caused former Ellsworth City Councilor Michael Boucher to resign from the council and leave the city, according to court documents.
Boucher tendered his resignation effective Dec. 1 at a meeting in November. In his resignation letter, he said he had made the decision to leave Ellsworth, with his young daughter, and move to western Maine.
In the letter, Boucher said he felt compelled to leave the council because of repeated incidents of domestic abuse at the hands of his wife, Cynthia Boucher.
According to an affidavit filed by Ellsworth Police Officer Amie Torrey, Boucher was treated at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital on Aug. 8 after his wife had thrown a spatula at him, striking him in the face. Torrey met with Michael Boucher at the hospital, where she saw two lacerations on the bridge of his nose. He told her that he was concerned his nose was broken.
Cynthia Boucher pleaded no contest in November to charges that she had assaulted her husband back in August. In a plea agreement, a charge of domestic-violence assault was dropped to regular assault. She also was found guilty of violation of bail conditions stemming from a previous domestic violence incident against Boucher that took place in Washington County.
Boucher was sentenced to 30 days in jail with all but 72 hours suspended, a $300 fine, and psychological and anger management treatment. She began her jail sentence Friday, Dec. 14, and was released on Monday. She also is prohibited from contacting Michael Boucher except through email, text message or a third-party.
Both phone numbers on file at City Hall for Michael Boucher have been disconnected, and attempts to reach him have been unsuccessful. Since resigning, he has taken a job as a part-time police officer in western Maine. Until recently, Boucher was a part-time officer in Winter Harbor.
The move was in his daughter’s “best interest, in order to remove her from the chaos and protect her more effectively,” Boucher said in his letter. He also wrote that he had recently been granted custody of his child.
Since his resignation wasn’t immediate, councilors could not consider it until its regular meeting on Dec. 17. There, they decided to leave his seat vacant until the next election in June.
City rules don’t necessitate a special election unless an elected position becomes vacant more than 180 days before the next election, according to City Clerk Heidi Grindle. Monday’s meeting was 177 days before the regular June election.
Whoever succeeds Boucher next summer will serve out the remainder of the resigned councilor’s term, set to end in November 2013.
Boucher’s brother, Matthew Boucher, also left a city council before his term was up this year. Boucher moved to New Hampshire for a job promotion and had not attended a council meeting for two months. The remaining councilors voted to declare his seat absent because of “absence and ineligibility,” on Aug. 20.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 1-866-834-4357, TTY 1-800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.
Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.