PARIS — Oxford County commissioners have hired a retired Maine State Police trooper to serve as senior adviser to the sheriff. 

County Administrator Scott Cole said commissioners voted after an executive session April 5 to authorize the execution of a contract for James Urquhart.

“This hire was a request from (Sheriff James Theriault),” Cole said. “In a way, he’ll be a consultant to the sheriff. He’ll work with the sheriff to update policies, look over how the (sheriff’s) department is going about their business.”

The request was “a recognition of a vacuum created in the command section, in terms of experience,” Cole said.

Urquhart’s contract went into effect April 8, Cole said, and will expire at “midnight of Dec. 31, 2018.”

During his time as senior adviser to the sheriff, Urquhart will hold the rank of major, Cole said, becoming the third-ranking officer in the Sheriff’s Department.


Cole said Urquhart “isn’t coming in here to augment operations, do detective work or fill patrols. He’s working with the sheriff to update policies, and to look over how the Sheriff’s Department is doing business in the broader sense.” 

Urquhart will make $1,100 per week, according to the contract, and will work a minimum of 43 hours a week.

Cole clarified that Urquhart will not receive any other wages or benefits while he’s employed, and that the money to pay for Urquhart’s wages will be taken from unfilled positions within the Sheriff’s Office.

“The commissioners were amenable to this request, and the sheriff has said that he needs help,” Cole said. “I just want to make clear that this position won’t be used to pick up slack in unfilled vacancies. He is a senior adviser that will help with administrative oversight.”

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