The Saco City Council voted unanimously Monday night to end an investigation of top police officials that started in March when the chief and deputy chief were placed on administrative leave over unspecified allegations of misconduct.

The vote followed a closed-door session at the end of Monday’s council meeting during which councilors reviewed a report from the third party brought in to conduct the investigation. There was no public discussion before the council vote.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday whether Chief Raynald Demers and Deputy Chief Corey Huntress will return to their jobs, and whether they could face disciplinary action. City Administrator Kevin Sutherland said Tuesday morning that he could provide no information other than that the two men are still on leave.

“(The council) vote was simply to close the investigation,” Sutherland said “No further action was taken.”

It’s unknown what allegations led Sutherland to place the chiefs on leave in the first place.

He placed Demers and Huntress on paid leave on March 15. The action came to light only after an internal memo to employees was leaked.


In the memo, Sutherland said he met with members of the department to discuss “departmental communication issues and was going to bring in a third party consultant to provide an assessment.” Sutherland decided to place Demers and Huntress on leave after receiving additional information, the memo said.

Since then, Sutherland and other city officials have refused to provide further explanation about what led to the investigation, saying it was a confidential personnel matter. A week after Demers and Huntress were placed on leave, the city council took over the investigation, as is the board’s right under the city charter.

Sutherland said Tuesday that he needs to “figure out our next course of action” with staff and that they still need “time to process” what happened at the city council meeting. The council voted unanimously to end the investigation at 10:30 p.m. after meeting in executive session with its attorney about that issue and unrelated contract negotiations.

Mayor Martson Lovell said the council is expected to meet again in executive session next Monday, and a decision about what happens next could be made then.

“The council went through a very thorough process. It felt the investigator was very competent,” Lovell said. “(The council) was satisfied the investigation was complete and thorough. That prompted them to close it.”

Councilor Alan Minthorn said he is limited in what he can share about the investigation because it involves personnel issues, but anticipates councilors will discuss the situation again next week.


“We’ll have continued discussions about what our options are and the direction that might follow,” he said.

Councilor Micah Smart on Tuesday confirmed the council’s action from the previous night, but declined to comment further on the situation. The other five city councilors could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Shortly after Demers and Huntress were placed on leave, Sutherland said he estimated the investigation would take two weeks. He later said it would take longer as the investigator hired through the city’s law firm spoke with department employees.

Demers was appointed police chief in December 2016 after the previous chief retired. Demers had been deputy chief of operations for the previous six years and has worked for the city for more than 30 years.

Neither Demers nor Huntress could be reached Tuesday.

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