PARIS — Oxford County commissioners have repealed a policy that forced county employees to take unpaid leaves of absence to run for office against incumbents.

The policy stated that “unless the incumbent official is not running for re-election, an employee who wishes to run for a County office must take an unpaid leave of absence upon the filing of his/her petition with the Secretary of State Office.”

“That’s hardball,” County Administrator Scott Cole said. “It’s been on the books for 10 or 15 years. I don’t know when it was enacted, or why it was enacted, but recently, the commissioners felt that the policy was probably illegal and not practical.”

In other business, Cole said the commissioners voted Tuesday to confirm Capt. Chris Wainwright as chief deputy to Sheriff James Theriault.

Cole said that ultimately, Theriault will select his own chief deputy, so the commissioners’ vote was to authorize the selection.

He added that the commissioners also authorized Deanna Petrie as the administrative assistant to Theriault.

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