PORTLAND — An administrative hearing scheduled for Monday in Portland will determine whether Paris Police Chief Michael Madden will keep his driver’s license.

He’s been driving unrestricted since his Operating Under the Influence arrest in November.

The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 6, at the Portland Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 125 Presumpscot St., Unit 4. Madden’s Portland-based attorney, Matt Nichols, said Tuesday that the chief will not appear at next week’s administrative hearing since it’s not a requirement and he’s not going to testify.

“To miss a half of day of work for a 15-minute hearing to sit in the corner is unnecessary,” Nichols said. “I want to make it abundantly clear, he’s not being treated any differently than any of my clients or any client, period. He’s not getting some special treatment that he doesn’t have to appear because he’s the chief. That’s the same for all of my clients.”

Madden will appear in court in Portland the day following the license suspension hearing at 1 p.m. for dispositional conference between Nichols and Assistant District Attorney Angela Cannon, who’s prosecuting the case.

“Defense attorneys work really hard to reach a fair resolution of the cases. If (the prosecutors and I) can’t agree to disagree then we go on to the trial track,” Nichols said.

Madden, 50, of Harrison, was pulled over by Cumberland County Sheriff’s Sgt. Andrew Feeney shortly after midnight on Nov. 21, 2014, after police alleged he was driving erratically in his personal vehicle. The Cumberland County District Attorney and Sheriff’s offices have refused to release the police report and results of the blood alcohol level test, citing state statues that keep them confidential. Feeney gave Madden a ride home after his arrest and Nichols previously said Feeney did this because he’s “old school police” and has given rides home to others charged with OUI.

However, Feeney failed to file the required paperwork that might have suspended Madden’s license until the Advertiser Democrat asked about it back in February.

Nichols wouldn’t disclose his defense strategy for Monday’s hearing. Robert O’Connell, director of Legal Affairs, Adjudications and Hearings at the BMV, previously said issues that can be explored at administrative hearings include whether the officer had probable cause to pull the suspect over and whether the suspect’s blood alcohol level was at the legal limit of .08 percent or higher. If the suspension is upheld as a result of the hearing, Madden could lose his license directly following the hearing or at midnight after the hearing.

Paris Town Manager Amy Bernard previously said that a driver’s license is a job requirement for the police chief.

Nichols said there are some options for Madden if his license is suspended. He could apply for a work license, which would allow him to drive to and from work and to any work-related event. After 30 days of suspension, Madden can apply for a lock device to install in his car that checks for the presence of alcohol before turning on the vehicle.

Nichols said Madden has been proactive in his case. In January, he finished the weekend program for the Driving Education and Evaluation Program, a lecture series which is required for all people who are charged with OUI.

“He’s one of the rare clients I’ve had who did not get a referral (for further evaluation),” Nichols said, noting Madden is done with the program, which has an intermediate step of further evaluating the person’s substance abuse history and final step of once a week one-on-one counseling. “Chief was a great client and follows every recommendation to a T. As you can imagine, he’s not a procrastinator, he’s a pretty energetic guy.”

As for the paperwork that wasn’t filed, Cumberland County Deputy Chief Naldo Gagnon promised if Feeney had another breach in protocol, there would be disciplinary action.

Nichols said he wanted to clear up any possible misconceptions surrounding Feeney not filing the proper paperwork in his client’s case.

“There was no request by me or by the chief or by anybody on his behalf that’s trying to delay or (get) Sergeant Feeney to not (file) paperwork,” he said. “In fact, this has been really detrimental to … the chief … to have this delayed. This is stuff we wanted to get behind us and move forward.”

If there is no resolve during the dispositional OUI conference between Nichols and Cannon on Tuesday, then jury selection for Madden’s trial will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 11, at Superior and District Court at 205 Newbury St., Portland.


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