LEWISTON — Former Mayor Shane Bouchard on Wednesday fired back at Heather Everly Berube, the Lewiston woman who over the past two weeks has accused him of a variety of misdeeds.

Former Lewiston Mayor Shane Bouchard Sun Journal file photo

In a news release issued Wednesday night, Bouchard, through an attorney, wondered why Berube herself has not faced consequences after admitting that she funneled private emails from the Democratic mayoral candidate for whom she had volunteered in 2016.

“Mr. Bouchard’s accuser absconded with private emails from the political campaign of Lewiston mayoral candidate Ben Chin,” according to the release, issued by Bouchard’s attorney, James Howaniec. “The accuser has acknowledged that she did not have permission to take those private emails.”

In the one-page document, Howaniec claimed that Bouchard has been the subject of repeated harassment since early March when Berube accused him, before the city council, of misdeeds including leaking sensitive emails to a conservative media company and sending racist text messages.

Berube claimed she had been having an affair with Bouchard, who resigned from his position as mayor days after the allegations surfaced.

Berube, 33, has since accused Bouchard of additional misconduct, including what she described as inappropriate behavior with an Oak Hill High School student while Bouchard was a coach there. No proof of those allegations has surfaced. Bouchard has not been charged with any crime.

In his news release, Bouchard’s attorney said the former mayor has not done anything illegal and yet has been harassed by Berube and those who support her.

“On behalf of my client Shane Bouchard, we strongly object to the allegations made at two recent meetings of the Lewiston City Council,” Howaniec wrote. “Mr. Bouchard most recently acknowledged that he made mistakes in sending certain text messages, and has resigned from the office of mayor. Mr. Bouchard, however, has done absolutely nothing illegal. To the contrary, it is Shane Bouchard who has been the victim of harassment and criminal activity.”

The release also took issue with the way Berube was allowed to unleash her accusations, largely uninterrupted, Tuesday night before the City Council.

“On Tuesday night, the accuser was again allowed to make false and slanderous hearsay allegations on the floor of the Lewiston city council chambers,” Howaniec wrote. “These type of wild personal attacks are extremely inappropriate and should never have been allowed to have occurred in public. We call upon the Lewiston City Council to take appropriate measures to ensure that such defamatory allegations are not allowed to be made at public meetings in the future.”

The news release also indicates that Bouchard may take to the courts to address the matter.

“For months Mr. Bouchard has been the victim of a pattern of harassment by this individual and others,” Howaniec wrote. “Mr. Bouchard intends to take appropriate legal action to stop the harassment.”

Howaniec also included in the release a memo addressed to Kristen Cloutier, who became mayor when Bouchard resigned. In the strongly worded memo, Howaniec scolds Cloutier for allowing Berube to use the council meetings to attack Bouchard.

“During the past two weeks we have watched — not once, but twice — as a member of the public has been allowed to make incredibly slanderous statements at public meetings of the Lewiston City Council,” Howaniec wrote. “Much of what has been said by this individual has been wildly false and defamatory. The statements made at last night’s meeting were based on the hearsay of an unnamed accuser. This is unconscionable. City council meetings are intended for the purpose of conducting the city’s business. They are not a forum to allow troubled individuals to come before the council and make wild, unfounded personal attacks.

“The failure to stop these personal attacks is inexcusable,” the memo continues. “We strongly request that you make arrangements to ensure that such behavior does not occur at future meetings.”

Lewiston police and the Maine Attorney General’s Office are investigating the allegations made by Berube.


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