October 9, 2013

Charges dropped against former Clinton police officer

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — The district attorney’s office has dismissed charges of domestic violence assault and assault against a former Clinton police officer.

The dismissal, filed Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court, lists insufficient evidence as the reason for not moving forward with the assault charge filed in March against Scott A. Francis, 38, of Chelsea.

“It was clear from the start of the investigation that there was no assault here,” said Walter McKee, the attorney who represented Francis. “The alleged victim said as much. We knew this day would have to come.

Unfortunately Scott had to wait all of this time for the inevitable dismissal.”

McKee said the domestic violence charge was dismissed previously. However, that was unclear in the record in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Maeghan Maloney, district attorney in Kennebec and Somerset counties, said she did not directly handle the case and instead sought the assistance of the attorney general’s office. Maloney said that is her practice when a case involves a law enforcement officer who works in the county.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said he worked with Assistant District Attorney Kristin Murray-James and agreed the charges should be dismissed because there was little likelihood of a successful prosecution.

Francis was terminated as a Clinton patrolman on March 29, and McKee said Wednesday that Francis is not working as a law enforcement officer.

The incident that led to the charges allegedly occurred March 25 in Winslow. It was investigated by Detective Gina Henderson of the Winslow Police Department.

The domestic violence charge listed a 19-year-old victim and the assault charge listed a 16-year-old victim.

The charges triggered a separate case regarding Francis’ certification to act as a law enforcement officer in Maine, and that is pending before the Complaint Review Committee of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Board of Trustees, according to academy director John Rogers.

Rogers said the Clinton police chief filed a report on March 27 with the academy and that the review committee would look at any underlying conduct which might have led to the charges. Francis had been with the Clinton department from April 4, 2012, until his termination.

Francis has been through that process before.

In 2010, he was fired from a position as a Washington County deputy for conduct unbecoming a deputy sheriff after he was served with a temporary protection order on behalf of his estranged wife. The complaint review committee in that instance dismissed the complaint and recommended no further action.

Francis was initially certified as a law enforcement officer in October 2005 when he worked with the Passamaquoddy Warden Service.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
badams@centralmaine.com

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