January 18, 2022

Longtime Baileyville police officer fired

BAILEYVILLE – A local police officer who has been a member of the town’s law enforcement department for 29 years has lost his job.

Sgt. George “Fred” Rayner’s employment with the town was terminated last Thursday, Nov. 9, according to Baileyville Town Manager Scott Harriman.

Rayner had been placed on administrative leave in August, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Harriman declined comment Tuesday about why Rayner lost his job. He also has declined to comment about the reason for the internal investigation.

Rayner was placed on leave not long after he and his wife, Baileyville Town Councilor Linda Rayner, filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court in Bangor. The Rayners own and operate Lilac Sunrise Disposal Inc., a coin-operated laundry facility, and Sunrise Day Care in Baileyville.

The Rayners filed for bankruptcy protection after their debts reached a total of nearly $1.5 million, according to documents in bankruptcy court. Lilac Sunrise Disposal has contracts to haul trash for Calais Regional Hospital, Washington County and the municipalities of Baileyville, Calais, Gouldsboro, Machias and Old Town.

The couple’s bankruptcy attorney has said there is no connection between his clients’ bankruptcy and the internal investigation that preceded Fred Rayner’s dismissal last week from the Baileyville Police Department. Increased fuel prices and competition are among the causes of the Rayners’ financial problems, the attorney has said.

Fred Rayner’s name, unconnected to his duties as a police officer, has come up in the past in law enforcement investigations and court proceedings.

In June 2004, the State Fire Marshal’s Office confiscated approximately 115 pounds of fireworks, worth about $900, from the Rayners’ home on Houlton Road. State investigators said at the time they had received a tip that the fireworks, which are illegal in Maine, were being shipped to the couple’s Baileyville home from a company in Michigan.

In 2002 Rayner reportedly told a group of Washington County men that a program called the NASCAR Racing Gifting Club was legitimate, though it later was exposed as an illegal pyramid scheme, according to testimony in a 2003 civil trial in Washington County Superior Court.

An unemployed Baileyville millworker eventually was fined and ordered by a judge to repay money he made in the scheme, which was patterned on professional race car teams but is unconnected to the professional NASCAR racing organization.

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