PORTLAND — Embattled Paris police Chief Michael Madden pleaded guilty Tuesday to operating under the influence and later said his behavior was a “horrible act of bad judgment.”

Madden, 50, of Harrison, appeared in Cumberland County Unified Court with his attorney, Matthew Nichols, where he conferred with prosecutors before reaching the plea deal Tuesday afternoon. Madden was fined $500 and lost his driver’s license for 150 days starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The plea agreement means he will not face a trial, which had been scheduled for May.

Nichols said Madden would have no right to drive for the first 30 days of the suspension. But, for the remaining 120 days, his car would be equipped with an interlock device, which tests for alcohol before allowing the car to be turned on and asks the driver to blow into it while the car is in motion.

In January, Madden completed the Maine Driver Education and Evaluation Program, known as DEEP, making him eligible for the interlocking device.

On Monday, following an administrative hearing at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Portland, Madden’s license was suspended for the same period with the same conditions. A judge said Tuesday that the court action would run the same period as the administrative suspension.


Shortly after midnight Nov. 21, 2014, Madden was pulled over by a Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office sergeant, who later cited Madden for operating under the influence.

Madden was driving on Harrison Road in Naples when he was stopped for crossing over the centerline several times and leaving the turn signal on for half a mile, according to the deputy’s report. A field sobriety test and, later, a Breathalyzer test followed.

According to court documents, his blood-alcohol content was at or above 0.08 percent, the legal limit for driving.

The Class D crime is punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

Madden said in an interview at the courthouse after his guilty plea that he was taking responsibility for his actions.

“It was time to move forward now with this,” he said. “It was unprofessional and I provide no excuses for it. The behavior was atrocious.”


Madden apologized to the state, the county of Oxford, the Cumberland County deputy who charged him and the town of Paris.

“First and foremost, I apologize to all my friends and my family who have had to put up with this very, very bad act of judgment,” he said. “I provide no excuses, no excuses for that night. I did it. I won’t do it again.”

He added, “Hopefully, the town will have faith that we can move forward.”

He apologized to the staff of the Paris Police Department. “I’m human and I made a human mistake and I’m sure some will be able to get past it and some won’t.”

Madden said one of his first actions after he was charged with OUI was to talk about it with town Police Department personnel.

“I went around the table and I said: ‘This is what I did. As your head coach, so to speak, if you can’t get by this, I need to know now for my own personal decisions, where I go from here, because I need to be able to be an effective leader.’ And when I did that, I got the full support of the rank and file and it was at that time I decided to accept responsibility and move forward,” he said.


In response to his 30-day unpaid job suspension, Madden said he plans to address the Board of Selectmen at some point, having waived an appeal.

“I feel their handling of the case with me has been fair throughout,” he said. “I thank them for their support and for everything they’ve done.”

Going forward, he said, he plans to continue the progress he and his department have made over the past year and a half.

“We have, I think, rebuilt a Police Department there and got it going in the right direction,” he said. “Part of what went into making this decision today and getting this over with as quickly as possible is that this has been a big enough distraction to the town of Paris. Let’s move on.”


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