FRYEBURG — Three police officials have been suspended while town officials investigate reports that a pair of officers partied with confiscated beer at a bash attended by teenagers.
Town Manager Sharon Jackson confirmed Thursday night that an outside agency was brought in to look into the allegations that came to light in a Bridgton News story earlier in the day.
Jackson said three police officials had been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation. She did not confirm reports that Fryeburg police Chief Phil Weymouth was one of the officers facing discipline.
The allegations surfaced Thursday when The Bridgton News reported they had received a letter, along with several photos of the party in progress, from an unnamed source.
Details of the allegations are sordid. They involve Fryeburg police officers encouraging teenagers to drink beer that had been confiscated over the summer and photos of a town employee's wife dancing on the hood of a marked Police Department truck.
The party was alleged to have taken place at 9 Oxen Pull Road, although the story does not say when.
According to The Bridgton News, the paper received a typewritten letter signed by "Concerned Fryeburg Residents" who describe one incriminating photo as "showing a town employee’s wife 'dancing' on the hood of the Fryeburg Police Department’s pickup truck. The color image, taken at night, shows a smiling woman squatting on the hood of a reddish pickup with 'Fryeburg Police' lettering on the passenger door. She has one hand resting on the pickup’s hood, while the other holds a blue can of beverage."
According to the news story, the letter-writers claimed Chief Weymouth gave his blessing to the party after taking some of the confiscated beer for himself. Weymouth has denied that charge, telling a Bridgton News reporter: "Never happened."
The chief is also quoted as saying he plans to get to the bottom of the allegations that he described as disturbing.
"They’re upsetting," Weymouth told The Bridgton News. "In order for me as a police officer to do a proper investigation, I have to know who is behind what is being said.”
Later Thursday, other sources said some of the photos in question had been posted on Facebook, although by Thursday night, they apparently had been taken down.
Reached at home Thursday night, Jackson said she could not predict how long the investigation would last. She said she could not comment further on the suspensions, because it is a personnel matter.