Amy Lent

BATH — Amy Lent, former executive director at the Maine Maritime Museum, was terminated from her position last week, according to statements from both Lent and the museum.

In a statement Wednesday, Lent wrote she was notified via text message on Sept. 10 that she had been terminated effective immediately by Laura Burns, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, after sharing her plans to retire from her position in 18 months.

Lent said she drafted “an 18-month plan that would allow time to work through the pandemic disruptions, fill open seats on the board, and recruit and hire a new director, which can take six months or more.”

“I asked for a contract during this period based on the three-year contract I had when I was first hired,” she added. “In response they fired me. They refused to discuss their reasons for the decision except that the board believed it was in the museum’s best interest.”

Lent held her position as executive director for 14 years.

Museum officials responded stated Thursday that Lent “recently approached the board about her intention to retire, but requested a lengthy and legally binding financial commitment that the board determined was not in the best interest of the museum either financially or organizationally.”

“We thank Amy for her drive, energy, and dedication to the museum over the past 14 years, and we wish her the best in her future endeavors,” Burns wrote.

Lent said the museum board asked her to sign an agreement that would require her to say she resigned and “demanded a full non-disparagement agreement on my part with no reciprocity on the part of the museum trustees.” She said she refused to sign the agreement.

“I’m still absolutely shocked at what’s happened,” Lent wrote. “I’ve worked incredibly hard to be the best steward I could be because I believe in the mission of the museum and in its potential as a cultural resource. I’ve had positive performance evaluations supported by annual salary increases. I have no idea why they’ve taken this action.”

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