Dillon Bates, a two-term Democratic state representative from Westbrook who has been accused of inappropriate relationships with female students, has resigned effective immediately.

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon, who had previously sought the two-term lawmaker’s resignation, shared an email from the 30-year-old former teacher and coach on Monday.

“Speaker Gideon, I will be resigning my seat in the 128th Maine Legislature, effective tomorrow, August 20,” the email read. “The anonymous allegations against me are baseless and false. That said, with likely only a matter of hours of legislative work remaining, I do not wish to create any distractions.

“In my time away from the Legislature, I plan to focus on clearing my name. I am proud of my time in service to the City of Westbrook and the State of Maine. It has been an honor to be their voice in Augusta for the past four years, and I look forward to finding ways to serve my community, state, and country in the future. I wish all those who choose to serve our great state only the best.”

The resignation comes less than two weeks after Republican state Rep. Paula Sutton of Warren called for a House Ethics Committee session regarding the accusations against Bates.

Bates, through his attorney, had previously denied wrongdoing and had indicated that he would not step down. He has not been charged with any crimes.

Bates didn’t respond to further requests for comment from the Press Herald on Monday. Henry Beck, one of Bates’ attorneys, said Bates would not be making additional comments or answering questions from the news media.

Gideon, of Freeport, called on Bates to resign after The Bollard, a monthly publication in Portland, published a story Aug. 3 alleging that Bates, who represents House District 35 in Westbrook, had inappropriate relationships with “at least three” female students over several years.

Gideon declined to comment in detail on Monday, other than to confirm Bates had resigned.

The story, based largely on anonymous sources, did not identify any of the victims.

In November, Bates abruptly resigned from his job as drama coach at Maine Girls’ Academy, and this month the Schoolhouse Arts Center in Standish announced on its website that Bates had resigned as its education director and would no longer be affiliated with the organization.

Bates resigned his position coaching boys and girls cross country teams at Massabeesic High School this fall, officials at Regional School Unit 57 said several days after publication of the story about Bates.

Walter McKee, an attorney for Bates, has previously said that Bates would serve the rest of his term. Bates is not seeking re-election.

Three people who worked at the Maine Girls’ Academy, which closed in July because of financial problems, had told the Press Herald earlier this month that they each made separate reports to a state hotline set up for reporting possible child abuse.

The three said they made the calls in the days after Bates resigned in November, in part because they were not certain whether school leadership had reported the allegations.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette released a statement on Monday saying that the House can now “focus on the important work we have left to finish.”

“With the announcement that Rep. Dillon Bates has decided to step down, the House of Representatives can put this matter behind us,” Fredette said in the statement.

The House is slated to come back into session Aug. 30 to take care of unfinished business from this spring’s session.

Dillon Bates, (D-Westbrook)


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