GARDINER — The Rev. Jacob Fles has been placed on administrative leave while the Diocese of Maine investigates allegations of misconduct.

A letter to parishioners dated Sept. 22 from Bishop of Maine Stephen Lane said “this leave will remain in place until the proceedings now commenced under our disciplinary canons have reached a final resolution or accord.”

Under conditions of the administrative leave, Fles may not function in any capacity as rector of Christ Church or as a priest of the Episcopal Church. Neither Fles nor any member of his family may have any contact or conversation with any person who may have made allegations against Fles, or attempt to influence their statements.

Fles has conducted services at the parish for 17 years, and is perhaps best known to the public as the organizer of the “Blessing of the Bikes,” an annual motorcycle ritual in Gardiner. He also appeared on “Fakin’ It,” a Learning Channel reality TV show, in 2004.

Lane said the complaints allege specific instances of misconduct, which, if true, would constitute one or more offenses under the church’s disciplinary canons. Fles will continue to receive salary and benefits while the investigation goes forward.

Fles had returned to his duties as rector of Christ Church on June 1 after 18 months. Fles, who had been ill with Hepatitis C and pulmonary hypertension, a secondary condition caused by liver disease, underwent a liver transplant in which his daughter donated 60 percent of her liver during a procedure at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass.