The treasurer of the Androscoggin County Republican Committee resigned last week after the local party chairman raised questions about whether nearly $8,000 in committee funds had been “lost” or misappropriated.

Mark Ramsay tendered his resignation as treasurer on Dec. 1 “for personal reasons,” he said Tuesday. But the decision comes after Androscoggin Republican Chairman Stavros Mendros said he learned that nearly $8,000 was missing from the party’s bank account. While that money has reportedly since been repaid, Mendros’ handling of the issue and his decision not to immediately inform other committee leaders has led to calls for the chairman’s resignation, setting up a potential showdown later this month.

Mendros said he met Monday with Androscoggin County District Attorney Andrew Robinson to pass along the information and request an investigation. Mendros said other leadership within the Androscoggin County Republican Party failed to address the situation to his satisfaction and he accused committee members of attempting to “cover up” the missing funds – an allegation rebutted by other committee members.

“I leave it entirely in the DA’s hands, but he told me he will look into it,” Mendros said Tuesday. “Hopefully the money gets paid back, but that is not my decision. I just want people to know we brought it forward.”

Robinson could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Ramsay said Tuesday that he “could neither confirm nor deny” Mendros’ suggestions that he withdrew the money but said he stepped down as treasurer last week “for personal reasons.”

“There has been an internal matter with the executive committee that has been addressed,” Ramsay said. “Any funds in question are fully restored.”

The issue began on Nov. 20 when Stavros said bank employees informed him there were insufficient funds to cover a $300 withdrawal request. Ramsay was the only other person with a debit card connected to the committee’s bank account, so Mendros said legal counsel advised him not to tell anyone else until he could “confront the treasurer face to face.” But a meeting never happened, and Mendros did not reach out to the committee’s other leaders until Nov. 30, when he called for an emergency meeting later that evening.

By that time, other executive committee members had also heard about the allegedly missing funds. The executive committee met the following day but without Mendros present or participating.

Jason Greene, a member of the county Republican executive committee, said the members called Ramsay during that Dec. 1 meeting to ask for his resignation and for a repayment of any funds.

“He resigned immediately and then he restored the funds within one week,” Greene said. Greene added that the committee considered the matter “resolved” as of Tuesday morning, although he said that the committee plans to comb through past bank statements to ensure no other money is missing.

The political tensions over the episode intensified Tuesday, however, when Mendros sent out a press release detailing his suspicions about the missing money and accusing executive committee members of trying to “cover up” the incident.

“It needs to be all out in the open,” Mendros said of his decision to involve the district attorney’s office. “People need to have confidence in our committee.”

Greene bristled at the suggestions of a potential cover-up or that the other executive committee members attempted to keep Mendros out of the loop.

“It’s not true we kept information from him,” Greene said. “He was invited to join (the Dec. 1 meeting) by phone, and he chose not to attend and he chose not to join by phone. We offered him a chance to be part of the resolution and he chose not to be.”

Instead, the other executive committee members voted 5-0 during that meeting to request Mendros’ resignation as county chairman because he did not involve them earlier after learning about the financial discrepancy. If Mendros does not resign, Greene said he and the other executive committee members plan to ask the full Androscoggin County Republican Committee to vote to remove him from office on Dec. 17. Such a vote would require endorsement from two-thirds of those present at the meeting.

Rick Bennett, chairman of the Maine Republican Party, said the state party has not been formally asked to get involved in the issue of the missing Androscoggin County Republican funds.