Embattled Maine jail leader resigns amid new woes after OUI arrest

Posted April 19, 2017, at 4:57 p.m.
Last modified April 19, 2017, at 6:36 p.m.

WISCASSET, Maine — Mark Westrum, a former Sagadahoc County sheriff who served for nearly nine years as correctional administrator of Two Bridges Regional Jail, resigned from that position on Wednesday, six months after he was arrested for operating under the influence in Bath.

Westrum’s “resignation and retirement” was accepted unanimously by the Lincoln and Sagadahoc Multicounty Jail Authority during a meeting Wednesday afternoon at the jail. The announcement followed an executive session.

Mary Trescot, chairwoman of the jail authority, distributed a prepared statement following the vote that opened, “After serving in law enforcement for over 35 years, Mark Westrum has decided to retire. Mark thanks the Lincoln and Sagadahoc Multicounty Jail Authority for the privilege of providing him with excellent support. The authority thanks Mark for his hard work and leadership … and wishes Mark only the best in his retirement.”

Trescot declined to comment further.

Westrum was not present at the meeting, and could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

In a separate vote, the jail authority approved a severance package for Westrum. The board declined to provide details.

Westrum, 56, was initially charged with aggravated operating under the influence after he was arrested the night of Oct. 8, 2016, on Front Street after Bath police Officer Mike Lever spotted his vehicle operating without lights, according to police records.

Westrum pleaded not guilty to OUI in November, but then pleaded guilty and, on Jan 3, entered into a deferred disposition agreement in which the aggravated OUI charge will be dismissed, and he will plead to a lesser charge of OUI, if he abides by certain conditions for a year. In that case, he will receive the mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a 150-day license suspension.

The jail authority in January returned Westrum to his position with a conditional employment agreement, The Lincoln County News reported. Among the conditions was a two-month suspension with pay.

In mid-March, Westrum was again placed on administrative leave the day he was due to return from that suspension. Lincoln County Administrator Carrie Kipfer, a member of the jail authority, declined at the time to give a reason for the action. He has been off the job since then.

Westrum has been administrator of the jail, which serves Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties, for more than eight years, and he served as sheriff in Sagadahoc County from 1993 to 2008.

The jail authority named Capt. James Bailey acting administrator and in December voted to compensate Bailey at the same rate as Westrum, the Lincoln County News reported.

 

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