Knox County sheriff releases statement at center of legislative ‘threat’ complaint

Posted March 04, 2014, at 12:08 p.m.
Wes Richardson in 2004.
Wes Richardson in 2004.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Knox County Sheriff’s Office released Tuesday a one-paragraph complaint written by an unnamed third party and provided to police by legislative candidate Wes Richardson against current state Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos.

“During a phone conversation with [name redacted] on January 31, 2014, he mentioned that during the legislative campaign of 2012 he had received threatening mail and mail type bombs. He stated that these were sent to him by [name redacted],” the letter stated.

The name of the person who wrote the statement was also redacted.

Richardson, a Republican from Warren, said Saturday in an interview with the BDN that a third party contacted him and agreed to write out the statement. He said Evangelos had criticized him unfairly by linking him to a 2012 mailing by a political action committee that targeted Evangelos. That flier showed an explosive about to detonate under Evangelos’ face and referred to Evangelos as extreme.

Richardson and Evangelos, an independent from Friendship, are not running against each other.

Richardson represented the Warren-area Maine House district from 2004 to 2012 and is seeking to return after term limits prevented him from running in 2012. He said Saturday he felt personally threatened by the statement provided by the third party.

He later said, however, that Evangelos had not made a threat against him. He said while there was no threat against him, he feels personally threatened by Evangelos’ statement to the third party.

Richardson has declined to identify the third party but said the person was not a constituent.

Evangelos had criticized the Maine Conservative PAC flier in 2012 as going too far in attacking him. The flier was paid for and mailed by the Maine Conservative PAC. Richardson was listed as one of the officers of that PAC.

The independent legislator said Monday that he never accused Richardson of putting anything in his mailbox but instead said Richardson was a decision maker for the committee that sent out the flier to mailboxes throughout District 49, where Evangelos defeated Republican Robert Carter in 2012.

Legislative redistricting that takes effect this year places Warren and Friendship in different districts. Evangelos is seeking re-election in a realigned district.

The letter was released by the sheriff’s office at the request of the BDN.

The sheriff’s office said Monday that the matter was not a criminal one.

“It’s not a criminal issue. Unfortunately, it’s the way of politics,” Knox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Carroll said.

Evangelos has criticized Richardson for going to the police, saying that it was an attempt to silence him. He said Richardson owes both him and the sheriff’s office an apology.

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