DIXFIELD — Selectmen voted unanimously Friday to terminate the employment of Town Manager James McLamb, less than six months after he was hired.

James McLamb Rumford Falls Times file photo

The 29-year-old Auburn resident was one of 12 people named in a federal complaint issued Oct. 27 alleging a wide-ranging conspiracy involving an illegal marijuana grow and distribution, and money laundering operation in the Franklin County area from 2016 to 2020.

On Friday, the board held a 40-minute executive session with McLamb and town attorney Jennifer Kreckel. After Chairman Norman Mitchell reopened the meeting in public session, Selectman Richard Pickett made a motion to terminate McLamb’s employment on Nov. 16 during the probationary period, which requires no cause.

The motion was seconded by Ricky Davis and voted unanimously.

The meeting was immediately adjourned.

Pickett said Friday evening that McLamb has been on administrative leave since shortly after the federal complaint was issued. He said the board agreed to the Nov. 16 date so McLamb could work out his next pay cycle.

McLamb is off the job but will be allowed to return to the office to retrieve personal items, Pickett said.

McLamb is accused of being involved in tipping off two former Franklin County sheriff’s deputies that they were under investigation for their role in the marijuana operation and then destroying evidence, according to the complaint. In a separate count, McLamb and three others are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, the complaint alleges.

He was a deputy with the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office at the time, according to the complaint.

McLamb was hired as town manager May 17 under a one-year contract.

At the time of his hiring, McLamb said he wanted to serve the community in a role outside of law enforcement after getting his master’s degree in criminal justice in 2018. He said he had patrolled Dixfield when the Sheriff’s Office took over law enforcement in the town in August 2020. He had previously lived in Dixfield, which has a population of about 2,500 residents.

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