ALFRED, Maine — The York County district attorney will now review seven-year-old allegations against two sheriff’s office deputies following the recent settlement of a civil suit in the matter, the county commissioners announced Friday.
In June, the York County Sheriff’s Department settled a lawsuit where a Buxton man, identified as John Doe, alleged illegal arrest and kidnapping by Detective-Sgt. Michael Hayes and former Deputy William Vachon, on behalf of a retired Portland police officer, Joseph Fagone. The alleged actions occurred on Sept. 1, 2011, when Hayes and Vachon allegedly showed up at Doe’s home and told him, ”“You f***** with the wrong person,” the suit said.
At issue was a disputed $850 charge Fagone’s daughter wanted refunded following a limousine incident at Gillette Stadium, for which John Doe and his wife, Jane Doe, provided the limousine service. Fagone was a 25-year Portland police veteran, the suit said.
According to the lawsuit, Hayes and Vachon went on to illegally arrest Doe on a fictitious charge and then put him in an unmarked police cruiser handcuffed and “for 45 minutes, they pressured him to refund the $850 charge.”
The deputies also allegedly demanded John Doe and his wife sign a form asserting no excessive force was used in the encounter. The Does tried to report the deputies’ actions, according to the suit, and eventually came in contact with now-York County Sheriff William King, who said the matter would be handled internally.
On Friday, the York County Commissioners issued a statement following a review of the settlement document last week. The case was settled and dismissed on June 19.
The commissioners said because the matter was already in court when they were made aware of the case and allegations, “they decided not to interfere or pursue any other possible options involving the allegations or refer the allegations for a separate review or investigation. Instead, the commissioners deferred to the ongoing judicial process out of respect for the individual rights of everyone involved.”
But now that the case has been settled, the county will take a closer look at the allegations, though denied in the court case. Hayes is still employed by the sheriff’s office, and Vachon now works as a police officer elsewhere in Maine.
The commissioners called the allegations “concerning,” and said they are referring the case to York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery, “so that she can review it and make any recommendations that she feels are appropriate.”
Slattery was not available for comment Friday.
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