SKOWHEGAN, Maine — Former Fairfield police Chief John Emery pleaded guilty in Skowhegan District Court on Wednesday to operating under the influence.
Emery, 48, of Skowhegan, was fined $500 and had his driver’s license suspended for 90 days. He surrendered his license Wednesday morning.
He will not serve jail time.
Emery faced up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine for the Class D offense.
Attorney Walt McKee, who is representing Emery, said that his client did not receive special treatment from the Somerset County district attorney’s office.
On the evening of Dec. 24, 2012, police responded to a vehicle off the road in Skowhegan, according to McKee. Emery, who was behind the wheel, was taken to a nearby hospital.
Four hours after he was transported to the hospital, Emery was administered a blood-alcohol test. The test allegedly showed he had 0.08 or higher blood alcohol content.
However, the blood taken from Emery for the test was destroyed before law enforcement could test it, said McKee.
“It’s not unusual for a hospital to [do the test], what’s unusual is that law enforcement didn’t get a test,” he said. “[Police] weren’t able to do [an alcohol] test at the time because of his medical condition. Ultimately, there was no test done, so they had to rely on hospital records.”
McKee did not elaborate on Emery’s medical condition.
Emery, who resigned as police chief March 1, pleaded guilty to the charge despite the unclear blood test results.
“It’s been around for a long time. It’s extremely stressful for somebody like John, who’s been in law enforcement for 27 years,” said McKee.
Police had responded to Emery’s home for a disturbance call earlier that day.
“There had been a call about some concerns about him. I guess I’ll leave it at that,” said McKee, adding that he wasn’t sure if the two incidents were related.