The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says it is investigating allegations that a New Gloucester man has threatened violence against town officials.

The man who is the subject of the investigation has not been charged with any crimes and says he has never threatened a town official.

The town said it asked police to look into the allegations after receiving “renewed threats” from Frank Staton Jr., 41, of Lewiston Road earlier this month.

Staton has lived in New Gloucester since 1997, runs a construction business and has been involved with an effort to recall Steve Libby, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

Sheriff Kevin Joyce confirmed Thursday that there is an investigation into the town’s allegations against Staton. He said investigators plan to turn over their findings to the District Attorney’s Office, which will then decide whether to charge Staton.

On Thursday, Town Manager Paul First said “many of the town officials in our community” have been threatened by Staton over the past six or seven years.

“In recent weeks town officials have received renewed threats,” said First, who would not be more specific.

First released a statement summarizing the town’s reaction to recent newspaper and television reports regarding the matter.

“New Gloucester is a peaceful community. These incidents are unfortunate,” the town statement reads. “Town officials are doing their best to take the threats seriously but not let this distract us from the business of serving the town.”

First said he declined to release any relevant documents to protect the privacy of individuals who have received the threats and because the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is in the midst of an investigation.

Staton appeared Wednesday night on a local television news report standing near a large sign on his front lawn that urges voters to recall Libby. The sign also says his house is for sale.

“I haven’t threatened anyone in the town, and that’s a fact,” Staton said during a Thursday night telephone interview.

Staton said the town’s animal control officers visited his property without his permission about two years ago, followed by state inspectors who came to his property to check on the well-being of his three cows.

He said the inspectors took a comment he made out of context regarding whether he had the right to humanely kill the cows for food.

Staton, who doesn’t like the way the town is being run, recently called First and told him that he wanted to be given 24-hour advance notice of any visit by a town official to his property.

Staton said he keeps two large Labrador retrievers on his fenced-in property, which he uses to scare off intruders.

“That (advance notice) is my right as a homeowner. I just said you will be taking your life into your own hands if you come onto my property,” Staton explained. Staton said the remark he made to First was about the dogs and was not meant as a threat.

He admits sending a “vulgar” email to Libby recently but added, “I didn’t threaten anyone.”

Staton said he has been wrongly accused by the town and plans to move out of New Gloucester.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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