OGUNQUIT — Cliff Marchant, the director of public works for Ogunquit, was the subject of a marathon closed meeting of the Select Board on Monday night.

Marchant remains on administrative leave following the hearing, said the interim town manager, Mark O’Brien. The Select Board now has 10 days to act on his situation, O’Brien said. Marchant’s attorney said he would not object if the board requested more time.

Marchant oversaw Ogunquit’s public works department this summer when rat poison was discovered on one of the state’s most popular beaches. It is not known who spread the rat poison on the beach.

Marchant is one of two Ogunquit officials on paid administrative leave pending an investigation in the seaside town of fewer than 1,300 year-round residents.

Marchant, O’Brien and attorney Maria Fox, who was tasked by the board with investigating embattled Town Manager Thomas Fortier, were among those who attended the meeting held by four members of the Select Board, which met in an executive session that ran for nearly six hours. Robert Winn, the board’s fifth member, has recused himself from the proceedings.

There was no word on the fate of Fortier, who is facing charges connected with the illegal after-hours operation of a municipal beach parking lot.

Fortier, who had earned nearly $124,000 through Dec. 1, according to town records, has been on paid leave since early August. He is accused of asking underage seasonal town employees to collect fees from a parking lot after-hours on July Fourth, then pocketing the extra funds, Wells Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam said in August. Wells police investigated the incident at the request of Ogunquit police.

Fortier pleaded not guilty in York District Court in October to charges of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, and official oppression, which involves an official seeking to benefit himself or harm another by committing “an unauthorized act which purports to be an act of his office.”

 

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