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John Hiatt will resign from the Bangor School Committee but continue serving as Penobscot County treasurer, his attorney said Friday.
Hiatt was arrested and charged Tuesday with possession child pornography.
“Because the State has not provided any forensic evidence relevant to the charge, we are currently unable to address the conclusions presented in the affidavit, which Mr. Hiatt denies,” Harris Mattson of Bangor said. “In the event the state obtains an indictment in this case, Mr. Hiatt will plead not guilty.
“Due to the nature of the allegation, however, Mr. Hiatt will resign from his position with the Bangor School Committee because he does not wish to present a distraction,” the lawyer continued. “He intends to maintain his position as Penobscot County Treasurer.”
Mattson said that Hiatt would resign by Monday. The board next meets on Aug. 18.
School superintendent James Tager said Friday that he would not comment until Hiatt’s resignation letter had been received.
Under the city charter, after Hiatt resigns the seat, it will remain open until it is filled at the November elections.
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The chair of the Maine Republican Party earlier this week called on Hiatt to resign from all political positions. He also is a member of the party’s state committee and the Penobscot County Republican Committee.
Peter Baldacci, the chair of the Penobscot County Commission, has called on Hiatt to resign as treasurer. Baldacci, a Democrat, said that he would introduce a motion asking Hiatt to step down at Tuesday’s weekly commissioners’ meeting.
Commissioners Baldacci, Laura Sanborn, a Democrat from Alton, and Republican Andre Cushing of Newport did not respond Friday to a request for comment.
Hiatt remains free on $1,000 cash bail with conditions that he have no contact with minors, not to be at schools, playgrounds or anywhere where minors congregate and not to possess any device that can connect to the internet.
The affidavit filed on the child pornography possession charge said that sexually explicit images of children who may have been as young as five were found in June on Hiatt’s cellphone seized in the stalking and harassment investigation.
He already was facing charges related to his alleged stalking and harassing of a 34-year-old Bangor woman on social media and in text messages sent to her cell phone earlier this year. Hiatt previously was arrested on May 14 by Bangor police on multiple charges, including a felony invasion of privacy charge.
After being arrested on those charges, Hiatt vowed to fight them and said he would seek reelection to the school board this year, when his term expires. He announced Monday on his Facebook page that he planned to take out election petitions for the school committee position on Wednesday, the first day they were available.
He said in May that he would seek reelection next year as county treasurer. Earlier this summer, county commissioners appointed Judith Alexander as deputy treasurer in case Hiatt was unable to fulfill his duties.
Hiatt has been open about his autism and the challenges he faces as an elected official because of it. He has described himself as an advocate for those with the condition.
Hiatt has not been asked to enter pleas on any of the charges because he has not yet been indicted by the grand jury. He is next due in court on Oct. 19.
If convicted of either possession of child pornography or felony invasion of privacy, Hiatt faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Class D crimes carry a maximum one-year term of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,000, and the maximum sentence and fine for a Class E crime are six months in jail and $1,000.