March 20, 2023

Police chief fired Gouldsboro board backs manager advice

GOULDSBORO – The Board of Selectmen voted Thursday at a personnel hearing to uphold the former town manager’s recommendation to dismiss the town’s police chief.

The Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 to dismiss Guy Wycoff from his duties, based on the recommendation of former Town Manager Linda Pagels, according to Yvonne Wilkinson, Gouldsboro’s interim town manager, on Friday afternoon.

Selectmen Jim McLean, Bill Thayer and board Chairman Dana Rice all voted in favor of the chief’s dismissal, she said.

Wilkinson said Friday afternoon that she was in the midst of working with the town’s attorney, Jim Patterson of Ellsworth, in sorting out and preparing the legal paperwork connected with Wycoff’s dismissal. She declined to specify the reasons for Wycoff’s dismissal and referred further questions to the selectmen.

Pagels, who has since begun her new job as the Calais city manager, did not return a phone message left late Friday afternoon at her Calais office.

Thayer said Friday he did not want to go into the specifics behind Wycoff’s dismissal, which is effective immediately, because he wanted to protect Wycoff’s privacy. He said the hearing, which normally would be closed because it was a personnel matter, was opened to the public at Wycoff’s request. Approximately 30 people attended the hearing, most of them in support of the chief, he said.

Thayer said there were many reasons behind Wycoff’s dismissal.

“There were numerous issues,” Thayer said. “He’s a nice person, but I honestly felt he was not capable of doing the job.” The reasons for Pagels’ recommendation to dismiss Wycoff built up over a long time and did not develop “overnight,” he said.

Thayer said the selectmen have to put the reasons behind their vote in writing within 10 days from the Thursday vote.

Patterson, in a telephone interview Friday, also declined to specify the reasoning behind the board’s decision to dismiss Wycoff.

Pagels’ attorney, Wayne Foote of Bangor, could not be reached for comment Friday evening, nor could Wycoff’s attorney, Mark McDonough of Bangor. Foote and McDonough were both at the hearing Thursday, according to Thayer.

Rice, McLean and Wycoff also could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Wycoff was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this month by Pagels, according to Wilkinson. While Wycoff has been on leave, Gouldsboro police Officer Chris Smith has been the officer in charge, she said.

Thayer said Smith would remain as the officer in charge until a new chief is hired.

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