PARIS — Oxford County commissioners and their attorney have no plans to meet with Sheriff Wayne Gallant about the sexual harassment allegations he is facing, County Administrator Scott Cole said Thursday.
Cole said commissioners will meet with their attorney, Bryan Dench, during an executive session at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the Oxford County Commission office to discuss their next steps.
The commission is investigating two complaints of sexual misconduct against Gallant, who has been sheriff since 2006. The complaints were made to county officials, according to Ray Cote, business agent for Teamsters Local 340, a union that represents 23 officers of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department.
In one complaint, Gallant is alleged to have sent multiple sexually explicit photographs of himself to a male deputy’s girlfriend with a request that the three of them have sex together. When the deputy rebuffed the offer, he claims, Gallant threatened his job, Cote said.
In the second complaint, Gallant is alleged to have a typed a message on a cellphone indicating he wanted to perform oral sex on a male employee, and then showed the person what he had typed, Cote said.
Gallant’s attorney, Jim Martemucci of Portland, said Wednesday his client “absolutely” denies sexually harassing any employees of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, and denied “threatening termination of any employee with respect to any type of sexual allegation or solicitation.”
He added that the photographs sent on Gallant’s private cellphone had nothing to do with subordinates in the Sheriff’s Office, and that the sheriff disclosed information about the photographs to commissioners himself so they wouldn’t be surprised by media reports.
Martemucci said Gallant is eager to set up a meeting with county commissioners and Dench as soon as possible to “talk about this openly and make a joint decision about what is to be done about these allegations.”
However, Cole said, no meeting is planned with Gallant. He said it was a “coincidence” that the commissioners scheduled an executive session around the same time that Martemucci proposed a meeting between Gallant and the commissioners’ attorney.
“The executive session is intended for discussion of the general situation, where the commissioners will consult with their attorney about their rights and responsibilities as county officials,” Cole said Thursday. “It has nothing to do with Martemucci’s comments.”
Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)