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County sheriff candidate dismisses taxpayer-funded probe as political attack

Presque Isle’s former police chief has dismissed a taxpayer-funded investigation of his conduct as a way to “appease a few detractors who have maliciously attempted to destroy [his] campaign” for Aroostook County sheriff.

Former Chief Matt Irwin resigned from the Presque Isle Police Department Sept. 4, saying at the time that he stepped down to concentrate on his campaign to unseat the acting sheriff Shawn Gillen, a Democrat. Irwin is running as a Republican.

Following a Sept. 13 Bangor Daily News story that first reported the investigation, Irwin confirmed in an emailed statement that the city paid a Portland lawyer more than $10,000 this summer to look into complaints against him. He claimed those complaints were “unfounded allegations” lodged by his political opponents, contributing to his decision to resign earlier this month.

[Presque Isle paid $10,000 to investigate its police chief. It won’t release the report.]

Presque Isle City Manager Martin Puckett has refused to release the report outlining the investigation’s findings because it is confidential under Maine’s personnel laws.

Irwin has not responded to multiple interview requests about the investigation or his resignation.

To read the rest of “Former Presque Isle police chief dismisses taxpayer-funded probe as political attack,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Callie Ferguson, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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