The undercover agent at the heart of a controversial sting operation by the Maine Warden Service is asking the Maine House of Representatives to investigate one of its members, whom the agent accuses of conspiring to “go after” the warden service and trying to influence the outcome of the sting by pressuring a district attorney and judge.

The agent, William R. Livezey, filed a complaint Tuesday with the House Ethics Committee seeking an investigation into the conduct of Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, “for his misuse and abuse of power.”

Livezey alleges that Martin tried to influence the outcome of the sting operation in Allagash that was at the center of “North Woods Lawless,” a special investigation by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram into warden service undercover operations. He also alleges that Martin conspired with Press Herald/Telegram reporter Colin Woodard “to create a fabricated false story against the warden service and their Special Investigations Unit.” The complaint also includes a long attachment detailing what Livezey says are inaccuracies in the newspaper report.

Martin had nothing to do with the newspaper’s decision to report on the Allagash raid. The newspaper contacted Martin for comments after the field reporting had been completed, because Allagash is part of his district.

Martin denied the charges and welcomed the investigation.

“I would love for the ethics committee to have a hearing. I would be happy to bring the witnesses,” Martin said Tuesday evening. “This guy, the best he could do is probably shut up. There is a lot more there that hasn’t been told.”


On May 8, the Sunday Telegram published an investigation of Livezey’s operation in Allagash. Over two years, the undercover game warden, pretending to be Bill Fried of Pennsylvania, befriended local residents and enticed them to commit wildlife crimes, the newspaper’s investigation found. The sting operation culminated with a massive 2014 raid that was filmed by a crew for the Animal Planet show “North Woods Law.” Local residents complained about what they say was an outsized operation considering the nature of the charges.

Among those charged was Hope Kelly, 64, of Allagash, whom agents tried to prosecute for possessing illegal game. The charges were dropped, but the woman said wardens seized multiple jars of canned vegetables and peaches from her home during the raid and failed to return most of them.

The warden service has defended its investigation and subsequent raid, and said the “North Woods Lawless” investigation contained “many inaccuracies.”

After the story ran, numerous targets of another undercover operation in the York County town of Parsonsfield came forward with similar allegations. In both operations, targets of the raids accused Livezey of drinking excessively in their presence, plying suspected scofflaw hunters with alcohol before urging them to commit crimes – such as driving deer, shooting deer out of season and carrying a loaded gun in a car – and committing some of the offenses himself for which the subjects of his investigations were later prosecuted. Most of the subjects ultimately accepted plea bargains.

Livezey previously had been accused of the same kind of behavior in an undercover operation in Oxford County in 2003 and 2004. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court found his behavior then may have been “repugnant” but did not rise to the level that the criminal charges stemming from his investigation needed to be dismissed.


Other people stepped forward with complaints about similar undercover operations that Livezey conducted in Penobscot, Lincoln, Washington and Androscoggin counties.

In his complaint, Livesey said Martin contacted assistant district attorney James Mitchell and asked him to dismiss charges that resulted from the Allagash investigation, and later wrote a letter to judge E. Allen Hunter in support of one of the defendants.

Martin said Livesey is lying. “I don’t know where he got his information, but it’s a lie,” he said, adding that, “I never talked to Jim Mitchell about this case,” and his letter to the judge was to vouch for the character of one of the defendants “who I have known since he was child, and I’ve known his mother for 50 years.”

Livesey did not respond to a message left on his cellphone asking for a callback to discuss the complaint.

Louis Luchini, D-Ellsworth, chair of the House Ethics Committee, could not be reached Tuesday to discuss the committee’s next step.

Kenneth Fredette, R-Newport, a member of the committee, said he had received a copy of Livezey’s complaint, but hadn’t read it and declined to comment.

Jeffrey Evangelos, an independent from Friendship, called the complaint “an act of desperation and intimidation on the part of the undercover agent to silence the critics” of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department and the warden service.


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