KITTERY (AP) – Town Manager Jon Carter said he has been unable to substantiate allegations of verbal abuse and harassment leveled against the police chief.

Virginia Grover, who worked as Police Chief Edward Strong’s secretary for 11 years, retired at the end of April to protect her health and well-being after being subjected to “persistent abusive and harassing behavior,” she said.

Carter said he couldn’t substantiate the accusations. “I have and will continue to treat this as a confidential personnel issue and will not be providing any additional details concerning this matter,” he said this week in a statement.

Grover said she witnessed Strong’s “domineering, intimidating and hateful character manifest itself on numerous occasions.”

According to Grover’s retirement notice, she raised concerns over Strong’s conduct as long as seven years ago, but her complaints went “unheeded.” Carter said he launched his own investigation as soon as he received her notice.

AP-ES-08-29-07 1421EDT

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