NEW GLOUCESTER — Public Safety Department Chief Toby Martin said Tuesday that applications from within the department for the deputy chief’s position will be accepted until July 12 and a finalist named Aug. 8.

About five members are qualified to serve, he said.

Voters at the annual town meeting May 7 approved funding the department, formerly the New Gloucester Fire and Rescue Department, and combining the departments’ budgets.

However, the New Gloucester Public Safety Department Ordinance that outlined the governance of the reorganized department failed to pass June 19 on a 17-17 vote.

Martin said the department is operating under the 2003 Fire and Rescue Department Ordinance.

Martin was named chief of the New Gloucester Fire and Rescue Department in February after the resignation of Chief James Ladewig. Deputy Chief Roger Levasseur presented Martin with a letter announcing his retirement June 19.

“After serving in excess of 46 years of service, it has been my ‘Honor’ to serve the citizens of New Gloucester and those who had passed through our borders, and to be associated with the ‘dedicated members’ of the department,” he wrote.

Levasseur served twice as acting chief for the town, most recently after Ladewig was placed on paid administrative leave by Town Manager Carrie Castonguay on Oct. 15, 2018. Ladewig was restored to duty Nov. 8, 2018, and resigned the next day.

On Nov. 6, 2018, Levasseur was suspended by Castonguay, who didn’t comment on the reason, saying it was a personnel issue.

Levasseur said last week that he continued to receive his $3,000 annual stipend as deputy chief since his suspension.

Efforts to reach Castonguay for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

At the special town meeting June 19, Levasseur spoke against the new Public Safety Department Ordinance and addressed his concerns.

Within the past year, the Fire Department weathered two suspensions and a chief resigning, neither of which has happened in the department’s history, according to Levasseur’s written statement. He said Castonguay was authorized by the town’s attorney to offer him $5,000 of taxpayer money to leave the department while on suspension and not to return, which he did not accept.

“Everyone should wonder why the town manager and selectmen would rather pay a person on suspension to leave the department instead of returning to serve the needs of the community,” he wrote.

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