MECHANIC FALLS — Town Clerk Miranda Hinkley was escorted from the Town Office Monday morning by police, and will not be allowed to serve out her two weeks notice.

Hinkley had submitted her letter of resignation last Thursday, three days after Town Manager Zakk Maher was fired by the Town Council after 10 months on the job. At the time, Hinkley said “It is my personal opinion that actions taken by the council prove the town to be heading down a dark path that I do not wish to be a part of.”

Despite her misgivings, she told town officials she was willing to work for two weeks to help “wrap any loose ends and provide information to the remaining employees so that they may pick up on any pending items on my desk.”

Miranda Hinkley Sun Journal photo

On Monday morning, police escorted Hinkley from the Town Office after interim Town Manager Fred Collins told her that her services were no longer needed by the town.

Collins also serves as the town’s code enforcement officer.

In a text to the Sun Journal later in the day, Hinkley wrote ‘Fred told me that the lawyer (for the town) didn’t think it’s a good idea for me to work out my notice. No councilors were present. No reason given.”

She added, “I was told I’m being paid out my two weeks and they have the right to opt out of me actually performing the two weeks.”

Hinkley, who lives in Otisfield, has worked for Mechanic Falls since 2016. In addition to her role as town clerk, she was also a deputy tax clerk and the registrar, overseeing local elections. Last year, she was conferred the title of certified clerk of Maine at the annual conference of the Maine Town & City Clerks’ Association.

In her resignation letter, she wrote “this was not an easy decision for me. … as I feel that our full- and part-time employees are a little family, and I will miss them terribly.”

But, she wrote, “It seems as though there are some people who make decisions for the town that are not a good fit for where I want to be in life and with whom I would not want my name associated.”

Prior to her career in the municipal government, Hinkley served 16 years in the Maine Army National Guard and the Army Reserves.

Deputy Town Clerk Julie Ward will perform the town clerk’s duties until a successor is hired.

The Town Council will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, June 25.

According to the town’s website, the meeting will be held “to discuss hiring of a replacement town manager, and to officially appoint an interm(sic) town manager. The public is welcome to attend this meeting. Comments will be heard at the discretion of the council chair” Cathy Fifield.

 

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