Saturday, March 8, 2014
WESTBROOK – A photo of a Westbrook police officer seized at the home of one of the Kennebunk prostitution case defendants depicts the officer at his criminal justice academy graduation, the city's police chief said.
The photo was included in an inventory of items found in the search of Mark Strong's home in Thomaston in July and was noted in news reports about documents filed in court in connection with the prostitution case.
Strong is charged with being the partner of Alexis Wright of Wells, who is accused of running a prostitution operation at her Zumba studio and an office in Kennebunk.
Westbrook Police Chief Michael W. Pardue said early Friday night that his department launched an internal investigation after news stories about the search mentioned the photo.
"It was certainly something we wanted to look into very quickly," Pardue said.
Pardue said the state police and Kennebunk police investigators both told Westbrook officials that the photo, taken from the master bedroom in Strong's home, showed the officer graduating from the criminal justice academy several years ago. The officer is in his graduation uniform and is the only person in the photograph, Pardue said.
He said Westbrook police determined that the officer and one of Strong's children had been friends in high school.
"There was absolutely no connection whatsoever" to the prostitution investigation, Pardue said. "We just wanted to make sure that was absolutely clarified."
Pardue decline to name the officer.
"That person hasn't done anything wrong," he said.