Search for new Damariscotta police chief yields no finalists

Posted July 03, 2013, at 7:22 p.m.
Matt Lutkus
Matt Lutkus

DAMARISCOTTA, Maine — Four months after demoting former Police Chief Chad Andrews to deputy chief, Damariscotta Town Manager Matt Lutkus said Wednesday that “a fairly extensive interview process” that began with 25 applicants did not yield a new chief.

“We don’t have a finalist at this point,” Lutkus said. “I’m at a decision point on whether to look at some of the other applications again or maybe do some telephone calls to see if there might be some folks out there we could encourage to apply.”

To see the town through, the Board of Selectmen approved extending for another 30 days an agreement with Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett to serve as interim police chief on a part-time basis.

Lutkus said it’s possible he could have a new chief in place within that time frame.

On March 2, Andrews was demoted to deputy chief of the Damariscotta Police Department after admitting that he participated in and failed to “squash” sexual “banter and jokes” among male staff.

Twenty-five people applied for the chief’s job, according to Lutkus, and that number was narrowed to seven and then three finalists from Connecticut, New York and New Hampshire.

Negotiations with the town’s first choice ended when the two parties couldn’t agree on pay and benefits, he said.

Now Lutkus said he needs to weigh his next steps. While he acknowledged that the process has been a bit frustrating, Lutkus said it’s important that the town hire someone who is “a good match.”

“We want to get a chief that our community is happy with, and that is happy with our community,” he said. “We want a good fit, so if we’ve got to go through the process again, that’s what it’s going to take.”

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