FBI Investigating Oxford County Sheriff Who Sent Explicit Images

The Oxford County sheriff who resigned amid allegations he sexually harassed members of his department is under investigation by the FBI, which found that someone in the office had destroyed documents, hard drives and cellphone records, a sheriff’s department official testified.

Chief Deputy Christopher Wainwright also testified that similar conduct against county workers could date back to as early as 2014 and that the FBI began investigating former sheriff Wayne Gallant and his former chief deputy, Hart Daley, before Gallant stepped down last December.

It is not clear whether records were destroyed to conceal evidence.

Oxford County sheriff solicited sex with employees, sent explicit photos, union official says
A spokeswoman for the Boston office of the FBI, which covers Maine, declined to comment.

The allegations, made in a courtroom two weeks ago during a hearing in a seemingly unrelated case, add a new level of seriousness to a case that shocked law enforcement when it unfolded late last year, ending the law enforcement career of the respected western Maine sheriff.

Gallant is accused of sending sexually explicit photos of himself to employees and people outside the department. Gallant stepped down after an investigation by county commissioners concluded he, “while in uniform and in his office, sent a photograph to a female employee of another law enforcement agency in which his genitals were exposed.”

The Portland Press Herald obtained an audio recording of the hearing, which included the first publicly disclosed details about the ongoing federal investigation.

Recording of Oxford County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Christopher Wainwright being questioned under oath by attorney Ted Dilworth on July 11.

Wainwright’s testimony came during a July 11 hearing in the case of Oxford County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Brian Landis, who has been on unpaid leave since he was charged with two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence terrorizing in June 2017 for allegedly threatening to kill his wife, Dawn Landis. The couple are now in divorce proceedings.

Brian Landis has denied those charges, and through his attorney, says that Gallant used the couple’s impending separation to get Landis fired because he rebuffed Gallant’s sexual advances and because Landis could have blown the whistle on Gallant’s history of sexually harassing employees.

“These folks were going through a divorce, and the sheriff saw an opportunity to divide these people even further for his own benefit,” Landis’ attorney, Ted Dilworth, said in an interview Wednesday.

“Imagine being charged with a crime and finding out the people who are part of the investigation are shredding documents, wiping out their cellphones, basically wiping out hard drives,” Dilworth said. “It’s troubling behavior. We’re supposed to get a fair shake when we go to court.”

Gallant could not be reached for comment Wednesday and did not return a message left at a number listed for his Bethel home.

Daley, the former chief deputy, denied any wrongdoing in an email.

“I know I have not been interviewed or questioned by anybody about anything,” Daley said in the email. “However, any allegations regarding misconduct would be completely false.”

Dilworth wants the terrorizing case dismissed, a request that Judge Charles Dow has taken under advisement. The case is slated to return to court Tuesday for further witness testimony. Dilworth declined to name witnesses he plans to call.

Following the July 11 hearing, Dow modified the bail conditions for Landis, allowing him to carry a firearm during working hours. That could allow him to return to paid status with the county.

Until now, Gallant’s departure and the charges against Landis appeared to be unconnected.

But Wainwright testified that he was shown information obtained by the FBI that Gallant was in touch with Dawn Landis before, during and after Brian Landis’ arrest, and that Gallant shared confidential information about Brian Landis with her.

In Facebook messages that were captured by FBI warrants and viewed by Wainwright, Gallant told Dawn Landis that he was scared of Brian Landis and that Gallant slept with two guns. Gallant also invited Dawn Landis to come stay with him, Wainwright testified. Wainwright also said the sheriff sent a county information technology employee to help Dawn Landis install surveillance cameras she purchased, which were installed at a home owned by Brian Landis without his knowledge.

For full story visit: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/07/25/fbi-probes-document-destruction-in-office-of-oxford-sheriff-who-sent-explicit-images-deputy-testifies/

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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