PARIS — An oversight in the Oxford County administrative offices Thursday morning led to a temporary cancellation of the Sheriff’s Office’s WEX fuel card.

“This morning, I was notified that Oxford County Sheriff’s Office deputies could not refuel their cruisers with their county issued WEX cards, because of the county’s delinquency on its debts. The fuel-credit disruption lasted approximately 10.5 hours, from 12 midnight to 10:30 a.m.,” Sheriff Christopher Wainwright wrote in a news release Thursday.

“It is a testament to the dedication of the deputies that were on patrol last night, that they used their personal credit to maintain their scheduled patrols. Because of their personal actions, public safety was never compromised,” Wainwright added.

Acting county Administrator Abby Shaner confirmed the problem and said her office rectified the problem within a couple of hours after learning about the fuel card.

The issue arose, she explained, because the county is seeking another firm to help handle its finances. The certified public accounting firm that had been in charge of finances for several years dropped the county as a client at the end of last year due to staffing. She said the sheriff was aware of the issue.

Shaner called the issue with the WEX card an oversight. She added that WEX does not send out invoices, so her office was unaware of the problem.


WEX is a Portland-based company that provides fuel cards to companies and agencies.

In his news release, Wainwright complained it was not the first time his deputies had to pay for fuel out of their pockets.

“This was not their financial responsibility, and it is inexcusable,” he said. “Perhaps, if this were the first time that Oxford County Sheriff’s Office patrols were left without gas and without warning, we could simply be grateful for the faithful service of our deputies.

“But this is not the first time that my deputies and I have had to step up and pay for our own gasoline, out of our own pockets, to make up for the failures of the county to provide for the most basic of supplies required for the faithful execution of our duties to the men and women of Oxford County,” according to his statement.

Shaner said the other incident was in 2018 and happened when an assistant working in the treasurer’s office had a medical emergency and county leaders were unaware of a file on her computer listing the required payment.

All deputies who had to pay for fuel will be fully compensated, Shaner said. She added that they could have used her debit card.

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