Police remained mum Thursday about why they searched two properties owned by Eliot Cutler and his wife, adding further intrigue to the investigation involving the two-time candidate for Maine governor.

Maine State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss confirmed Wednesday that searches were conducted at 84 Pine St. in Portland and 523 Naskeag Point Road in Brooklin in Hancock County – properties owned by Cutler and his wife, Melanie, according to tax records. Moss said the searches came after a two-month investigation, but she would not provide any additional information Thursday about what police were investigating, and no warrants have been filed in either Hancock County or Cumberland County courts.

Augusta-based attorney Walt McKee confirmed Thursday that he represents Cutler in the case, but he, too, declined to answer any questions and would not discuss what was seized from the home. No charges have been filed.

“I can confirm that I do in fact represent Eliot Cutler in these matters,” McKee, one of the state’s top defense attorneys, wrote in an email. “But unfortunately I can offer no comment at this time.”

Amen Farm at 523 Naskeag Point Road, Brooklin, home of Eliot Cutler. Photo courtesy of Compass Point Real Estate

Ted O’Meara, a longtime friend of Cutler’s and his former campaign manager, said he doesn’t know anything about the investigation.

“I don’t know any more than you do,” O’Meara said in a text message to a Press Herald reporter on Thursday. “We communicate fairly regularly, but he has never mentioned or alluded to anything like this. I am totally mystified.”


Asked if he had talked to Cutler since Wednesday, O’Meara said he had not.

Reached by phone on Wednesday, Cutler refused to answer questions about the searches.

“I have no comment,” he said. When pressed further, he replied, “I’ve told you, I have no comment.”

No one answered a phone number for the Brooklin home on Thursday.

Portland’s tax records show Cutler and his wife own 84 Pine St., a single-family home in the city’s West End. The couple also own a farm on 47 acres in Brooklin. That property, known locally as Amen Farm, was built in 1850 and overlooks Blue Hill Bay.



In Maine, a judge must sign off on every search warrant. To get judicial approval, police must show they have enough evidence connecting a person to a crime, a threshold known as probable cause. Police searches are not fishing expeditions. The warrant must be specific about what types of information or evidence police are seeking, and in turn, they are permitted to seize only property or information that closely matches what they said they were looking for. Following a search, police must file a receipt with the courts listing the items they seized. Searches don’t always lead to criminal charges, but are a sign that an investigation has intensified.

Cutler also owns a townhouse at 84 Pine St. in Portland’s West End. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Cutler is known to most Mainers for his unsuccessful campaigns for governor in 2010 and 2014, but he’s spent much of his life in the public eye, first as a political operative, then as a high-powered attorney.

He grew up in Bangor, the oldest of Lawrence and Catherine Cutler’s three sons.

His father was a prominent doctor who served for 20 years as chief of medical services at what is now Eastern Maine Medical Center. Lawrence Cutler also was a longtime board member for the University of Maine, whose health center is named after him.

Cutler’s mother was a homemaker who also was involved in social causes, specifically mental health services and women’s rights. She founded or helped establish Community Health and Counseling Services, one of the Bangor area’s leading mental health agencies; Spruce Run, which supports women and children affected by domestic violence; and the Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center, which provides family planning and abortion services.



Cutler, by his own admission, was an underachiever academically, which led his parents to suggest a private boarding school. He chose Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts, a prestigious all-boys school where coats and ties were required.

Deerfield opened the door to Harvard College, where he studied as an undergraduate and joined the Harvard Lampoon, a humor magazine produced by students, some of whom went on to found National Lampoon, which produced a number of Hollywood movies, including “Animal House” and the “Vacation” series. Cutler has admitted that he partied and drank heavily in college at times, but it also built his political foundation. While there, he took an internship in the office of U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie, who knew the Cutler family, and then went to work for the senator full time after graduation.

Even when Cutler enrolled in law school at Georgetown University, he continued to work for the senator from his home state. He took a year off from law school to assist with Muskie’s unsuccessful 1972 presidential campaign.

Georgetown also is where Cutler met his wife, Melanie Stewart. They married in 1973 and have two adult children, Abigail and Zack.

Melanie Cutler worked as attorney early on before going back to medical school to become a psychiatrist. She practiced in Portland for many years, specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Cutler’s political experience and connections led to increasingly high-profile policy-related jobs in Washington, D.C., including as associate director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Jimmy Carter.


A lengthy profile of Cutler that ran in the National Journal on Oct. 27, 1979, explored his rise. The headline was: “I Lead Three Lives – The Eliot Cutler Energy Show.”


He didn’t stay in government, though. Instead, Cutler moved to the private sector, where he worked for three decades as an environmental lawyer on large-scale development projects such as airports, all over the country. He founded a D.C. law firm with partner Jeffrey Stanfield, which they built into one of the country’s largest environmental law firms before merging with another major firm, Akin Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, in 2000.

Cutler was extremely wealthy by that point, and he and Melanie moved back to Maine, where they purchased a 15,000-square-foot home in Cape Elizabeth. They sold the mansion last year to Jonathan Bush Jr., nephew to one former president and cousin to another, for $7.6 million.

Cutler continued to work as an attorney and even spent a couple years in China helping his firm open an office there before giving it up prior to the 2010 race for governor.

In that race, Cutler, who ran as an independent despite years working for Democratic politicians, lost to Republican Paul LePage, but only narrowly. He chose to run again in 2014 but that campaign never gained momentum, and he finished a distant third to LePage and Democrat Mike Michaud.

Cutler self-financed both campaigns.

After losing his second race, Cutler didn’t stay out of the spotlight long. He was hired a year later by the University of Maine System to oversee the establishment of a new graduate business and law school in Portland. He resigned from that initiative in 2017 and has been mostly out of the public spotlight since.

Staff Writer Matt Byrne contributed to this story

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