SOUTH PARIS, Maine — Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant, who admitted early Tuesday evening that he sent a sexually explicit photo to a woman while in his office and in uniform, said he did not break the law.
“I did nothing illegal,” he told the Bangor Daily News after a regularly scheduled budget meeting at the courthouse in South Paris. “It was an adult thing that happened two years ago.”
Gallant, who first made the admission to CBS 13, is serving his third term as Oxford County sheriff. He told the TV station he plans to step down from his other role as president of the Maine Sheriffs’ Association.
The Maine Sheriffs’ Association issued a statement late Tuesday saying it was aware of the incident.
“The Maine Sheriffs do not condone the inappropriate actions of the Oxford County Sheriff,” it said.
First Vice President Sheriff Kevin Joyce will be acting president of the association, which includes all 16 of Maine’s sheriffs, their chief deputies, jail administrators and patrol supervisors.
When asked by the BDN if he also would step down as sheriff, he said only, “I was elected by the people of Oxford County.”
Gallant declined to comment on how the the photograph came to light and said, “I’ve talked enough today.”
He also would not comment on whether the incident was isolated or whether he would apologize for his actions.
The atmosphere at the courthouse and around the state police depot in South Paris was tense, with the on-duty supervisor and several state troopers refusing to discuss the situation.
“I bring discredit to myself, to my uniform, my badge and the Maine Sheriff’s Association,” Gallant said in an earlier statement to CBS 13. “The appropriate thing for me to do is not remain in a leadership position with the association and to step down.”
An attorney for Oxford County told the news station that county commissioners can consider filing a report about Gallant’s behavior with the governor’s office, who then can determine if a state statute was violated and if there should be disciplinary action.
Oxford County Administrator Scott Cole said the commissioners learned of the situation from the media after participating in meetings all day. They had a “brief, informal” conversation with Gallant at 5 p.m. Tuesday before entering the budget meeting, he said. Cole had no further comment.
BDN writer Callie Ferguson contributed to this report.
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