SKOWHEGAN — When Skowhegan police Chief Donald Bolduc announced he would resign on April 9, he said he was looking forward to returning home to Millinocket. But Bolduc, 52, is going home earlier than planned.

In a scheduled executive session Monday, selectmen decided to let Bolduc go immediately. He had handed in his resignation letter Friday and was told of the selectmen’s decision Tuesday afternoon.

“It came as a surprise, but it’s giving me an opportunity to go home earlier,” he said Wednesday morning.

“I feel bad for the police department because it would have been an easier transition if they were given 30 days and I could have helped with that. But for some reason they don’t want to do that … I don’t know what to say. I thought I was leaving on a good note.”

The Skowhegan Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to appoint Sgt. Joel Cummings as interim police chief, effective immediately.

Town Manager Christine Almand said the town’s move is not unusual.

“Some places they’ll just walk you out and send you your stuff later,” she said. “It’s customary at times for people to be removed from management positions after they tender their resignation.”

Almand said the board’s decision came Monday afternoon, before a Morning Sentinel story was published online about Bolduc’s resignation and his frustration about low pay for patrol officers in Skowhegan.

Bolduc said the department recently lost three officers, including a detective sergeant, to other agencies that pay more money. He said starting pay for an entry-level patrol officer in Skowhegan is $16.59 per hour, or about $2.50 to $4 per hour less than other departments.

Bolduc said he could not say more because labor contracts between the patrolman’s union and the town are ongoing and he would not want to be accused of “negotiating in public” and upsetting the bargaining process.

Bolduc said he looked forward to moving back home with his wife and son, who is recovering from cancer treatments.

Skillings said Wednesday he could not discuss Bolduc’s departure from the police department because it is a personnel matter. He said Bolduc’s early departure did not amount to a job termination.

“I wish him and his family the very best,” Skillings said. “I know he’s had a difficult time period with regards to his son’s health. I absolutely wish him, his wife and his family the very best in the future and pray for his son’s good health and his whole family’s good health.”

Bolduc has accepted a position with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

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