NORWAY – A former Oxford County deputy who was disciplined by the Sheriff’s Office last year has jointed the Norway Police Department as a detective.

Norway Police Chief Robert Federico said Monday that Gary Hill started his new job April 24. “We were looking to fill that (detective) position and he was a candidate,” Federico said.

Hill was demoted from sergeant to deputy last June after allowing a drunken driver to get back into his car and drive. The incident happened in April 2005 after a sheriff’s deputy stopped an Otisfield man and was in the process of arresting him on Route 37 in Waterford for operating under the influence of intoxicants and driving a car with a suspended or revoked license.

Hill was the supervisor at the scene and allowed the driver to get back into his car and drive it across the road to park it in a town parking lot. Hill, who took responsibility for the incident, said he allowed the man to drive the car into the parking lot because there was an aggressive pit bull-mix dog in the car that would not allow an officer to search the vehicle.

He also said he did not want the man’s parents, who owned the car, to pay for the towing.

In a letter to Hill last year, Oxford County Sheriff Skip Herrick said Hill’s decision resulted in the driver breaking the law again by driving drunk, as well as violations of county policies and state laws that Hill was sworn to enforce.

However, he also said Hill was a good law enforcement officer with excellent skills as a crime investigator and he was worth retaining.

Hill had worked for the sheriff’s office for more than 19 years, 12 of them as sergeant.