It began in 2011 with a Kenny Chesney concert, a troublesome limo ride and an unsuccessful shakedown by tough-talking police officers doing a favor for another cop and his daughter.

Now after over a decade, the last of the three policemen who blatantly abused their power in the incident have been stripped of their law enforcement licenses.

The Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s board of directors recently voted to revoke the law enforcement certificates of Joseph Fagone, a former Portland police officer and Department of Corrections investigator, and Michael Hayes, who previously worked for the York County Sheriff’s Office as a detective sergeant.

The decisions close a bizarre chapter that reads like a bad crime novel.

Hayes and another former York County deputy, Wilfred “Bill” Vachon, handcuffed and berated a Buxton limousine company owner who they believed had stolen items from Fagone’s daughter after the young woman had hired the company to drive her and some friends to the country music concert in Massachusetts.

All three were found by the academy board to have committed official oppression – abuse of their state-granted powers for personal gain – as well as other violations including attempted theft by extortion.


The incident did not surface publicly until the owner of the limo company filed a federal lawsuit in 2017, which led to an out-of-court settlement, an investigation by law enforcement into the officers’ conduct and the last of the revocations late last year.


No criminal charges have been filed against the police officers and it’s unclear why the case went unreported for so long and why the officers did not face repercussions sooner.

Fagone, reached by phone on Tuesday, declined to discuss the case.

“That’s all behind me, I’ve moved on,” he said. “I’m not interested in speaking. Thank you, though.”

Patrick Gordon, an attorney for Hayes, did not return email and phone requests for an interview.


York County Sheriff William King, who was a major in the sheriff’s office when the incident took place, declined to discuss the matter and refused to answer questions about what he knew about the case when it occurred or whether York County deputies should have been involved at all. While Buxton is in York County, the town has its own police department and handles its own calls.

“Neither Hayes nor Vachon have worked for the York County Sheriff’s Office for some time,” King wrote in an email. “However, because of the confidentiality protections in the Maine law governing the personnel records of current and former county employees, I am unable to comment substantively on the matter.”

Vachon’s revocation was the first to be released publicly in July 2021, following a public records request by the Portland Press Herald. Documents describing the revocations for Hayes’ and Fagone were finalized in late 2021 and released to the newspaper in March.

The incident began when Fagone’s daughter and her friends hired a limousine to attend a Kenny Chesney concert at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Aug. 27, 2011.

When the group of friends returned to the limo after the concert, they found cash and belongings had gone missing from the vehicle.

Fagone suspected the business owner, a Buxton man, was responsible, but the business owner refused to refund them money or acknowledge he was involved in a theft.



So Fagone called Sgt. Michael Hayes, then the head of the criminal investigation division at the York County Sheriff’s Office, according to the academy documents.

Two former officers with the York County Sheriff’s Department lost their law enforcement licenses over an episode that occurred in 2011. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Fagone was a veteran officer himself. He had worked for the Portland Police Department for 25 years until 2010, when he retired and took another job as an internal investigator for the Department of Corrections. It’s unclear how or when he met Hayes.

On the phone, Fagone told Hayes about the suspected theft and asked him for help, according to the academy documents.

“Hayes did not refer (Fagone) to the Buxton Police Department to deal with this alleged theft,” the board wrote in its findings. “Rather, he agreed to assist (Fagone) directly.”

Typically, investigations begin with interviewing victims and witnesses. Hayes, it appears, took Fagone’s word on what had occurred, and never interviewed Fagone’s daughter or anyone else who was along for the limo ride, according to the board’s findings.


A few days later, Hayes enlisted the help of a subordinate, Vachon, another York County Sheriff’s detective. On Sept. 1, 2011, five days after the limo ride, Hayes and Vachon met up at a rendezvous point outside of Buxton. Hayes got into Vachon’s car. They drove to the Buxton home of the limo owner, and together they confronted the man, who is not named in court records or in the academy documents.

“Sergeant Hayes with the Sheriff’s Office,” Hayes told the man, who invited the two officers inside. The man asked if everything was OK.

“Not really,” Hayes said. “You guys picked the wrong girl this weekend to kinda screw around with,” he said, according to an excerpt of the conversation. “That was a 24-year detective’s daughter. And you kinda tucked it up her (expletive). Listen, listen, ’cause this is going to break bad pretty quick and I don’t want it to.”


Hayes told the man he wanted to handle the matter quietly, “to a point where I don’t have to take anybody to jail,” according to the excerpt of the conversation provided in the academy records.

When the business owner asked if he could call the police, Hayes shot back: “I am the police.”


Hayes and Vachon told him not to call 911, that to call 911 after an officer told him not to was a crime – but he dialed anyway. Hayes and Vachon grabbed his phone and wrestled him to the ground, cuffed him, stuffed him in the front seat of a cruiser and drove away from his home.

On the way back to the rendezvous point, Hayes berated the man, and called him an idiot and dumb, “a (expletive) moron.” He called him a nobody, a thief and a loser. When the man objected and said his uncle, a York police officer, would vouch for his credibility, Hayes yelled at him again and threatened to take him jail.

“You ended up screwing over several police officers’ daughters and that is the wrong thing to do,” Hayes told him. “The media will make you out to be the biggest monster and scammer around. It’s going to be unbelievable.”

The simple way to solve things, Hayes said, was to give back the money and missing property.

Vachon and Hayes called the man’s girlfriend and business partner, but she, too, denied knowledge of the theft. Two hours after Hayes and Vachon cuffed the man, they returned him to his home and released him without charges or a summons.

After the shakedown, Hayes called Fagone, and told him they had arrested the limo owner but “unarrested” him and were not able to find out anything or get back the missing items.


Fagone, apparently still frustrated, called the limo company directly several days later. No one answered, so he left a recorded message in which he identified himself as a police officer and admitted to pulling strings to help his daughter.


“I’ve been working behind the scenes with (Hayes),” Fagone said, according to a transcript of the message. “My understanding is that now you’re playing games and you’re not willing to pay.”

He said that if the business did not “make this right,” Fagone would obtain a search warrant for the owner’s home and the owner would face criminal charges.

“And you can bet on that,” he said. “So if you want to play games, we will play games. Have a good night.”

Cases of alleged officer misconduct typically are handled more quickly, but the incident did not come to light until the limo owner filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in 2017.


The case settled the next year for $67,500, and triggered criminal investigations by local, state and federal investigators, but no criminal charges were ultimately filed against the officers, Vachon’s attorney, David Bobrow, said in an interview last year.

Since last year, Vachon, Hayes and Fagone all have left the profession.

Hayes resigned his position effective March 16, 2021, about a month before the board released its decision to revoke his credential. Fagone retired from the Maine Department of Corrections on June 28, 2021, and now collects two monthly pensions totaling more than $4,600.

And Vachon, who left the York County Sheriff’s Office in 2016 to work at the Berwick Police Department, retired June 17. Reached at his home last summer, Vachon declined to comment.

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