Maine State Police on Friday released disciplinary records for eight employees that had not previously been disclosed, acting on an order from a Penobscot County judge who found the state improperly withheld public information.

Most of the records detail driving-related incidents involving state troopers, including one in which a trooper drove past what appeared to be a person who had been hit by a car on the Maine Turnpike.

The documents were released following lawsuits filed jointly by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and the Bangor Daily News. The newspapers teamed up last year to investigate the pattern of secrecy surrounding misconduct within the Maine State Police.

Final disciplinary measures against public employees, including police, are public records in Maine. But the Maine State Police argued that portions of the records were exempt from disclosure and redacted some of the information. Officials refused to provide the newspapers with an itemized reason for each redaction.

The Maine State Police has said it keeps no records of what documents it destroys or when – and per their union contract, troopers can wipe clean their entire disciplinary history before retirement if they have committed no recent disciplinary infractions.

In June, the Maine State Police released unredacted sections of the documents to comply with the judge’s order, showing how inconsistent disciplinary records can be.


In a letter to the court, Assistant Attorney General Kelly Morrell said the records released Friday were found during a supplemental search for “missing documents” related to the newspapers’ Freedom of Access Act requests. That process included searching archived paper case files maintained by the Office of Professional Standards to determine whether additional copies of records purged from personnel files had been kept.

The newly released discipline records show the agency issued corrective memorandums to eight employees for incidents between 2016 and 2019. The employees – six troopers, a detective and a Bureau of Identification specialist – were warned to follow state police policies.

The specialist from the Bureau of Identification was given a written reprimand for arriving late to work and for being absent without leave. The detective was given a corrective memorandum for using state police time and resources in a personal matter, but the document did not provide further details. And a trooper was issued a corrective memorandum for using instant messages to communicate on a “personal level” with emergency communications specialists while on duty.

The records show that five troopers were warned about their actions for incidents related to driving, including one trooper who received two corrective memorandums. One trooper was told to follow policy after he was found to be speeding, tailgating and passing cars on Route 27 in Augusta.

The corrective memorandum issued to Trooper Michael Lane in February 2019 describes how the trooper passed what appeared to be a person in the road on the Maine Turnpike while responding to a Tactical Team call in Wiscasset where a man had barricaded himself in an apartment after holding a knife to his girlfriend’s throat.

When Lane was approaching Exit 36 in Saco, the Augusta Regional Communications Center advised another trooper that there was a report from a motorist that a person had possibly been hit in the roadway. As that message was being relayed, Lane “drove by something in the middle lane of the road that he perceived to be a person and then a vehicle parked in the breakdown lane with its emergency lights flashing,” the memo said.


Lane slowed down, but did not immediately pull over, and used his radio to notify Augusta RCC that he just passed what appeared to be a “person in the road,” the memo said. He was told by a supervisor to return to the scene to check on the severity of injuries, but Lane had to continue northbound to Exit 42 because he was not familiar with any crossovers on the area.

Lane’s actions did not follow state police policy that requires an officer to stop and assist a motorist or pedestrian that appears to be in need of assistance and, if there are injuries, to remain at the scene until emergency assistance arrives.


Corrective memorandums issued to Trooper John Darcy outline two incidents in which he was found to be driving his cruiser too fast or without proper safety measures.

A review of video from Darcy’s cruiser showed that while responding to a domestic call in Lebanon in January 2017, Darcy used the siren only intermittently. He went through several intersections without stopping and, at some intersections, did not use a siren. He also passed several vehicles going in the same direction without a siren and did not use the siren when passing several driveways. At one point, he operated left of center on a curve but was not passing vehicles, according to the memo.

“It is my opinion that Trooper Darcy failed to operate with the ‘due regard for safety’ by only using his siren intermittently, operating left of center when not overtaking another vehicle and for not allowing ample time for motorists at the intersection of Routes 202 and 109 to safely yield to his (right of way),” the memo from Col. John Cote said.


In November 2017, a review of cruiser video showed Darcy was speeding when he merged on to Interstate 95 from Interstate 295 and passed several vehicles.

In 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed a criminal case after the defense attorney showed a video as evidence of racial profiling by Darcy. He later testified that his use of the word “thug” referenced a person involved in criminal activity, not a person’s race. The following year, a federal judge threw out evidence from a traffic stop involving Darcy, who had been promoted to corporal.

Another trooper, Andrew Hardy, was directed to follow state police policy after crashing his cruiser on Route 27 in New Vineyard in 2017. Prior to the crash, Hardy had his laptop in the open position and was utilizing the mobile data terminal, according to the corrective memorandum issued on Sept. 11, 2017.

Maine State Police also released an arbitration agreement from the Labor Relations Board affirming Trooper Robert Burke for retaliating against two troopers. In 2017, Burke’s actions on the job came under scrutiny after he was accused of racial profiling by the attorney for a Honduran man arrested after Burke stopped the van he was in on I-295 in Portland.

A judge in Portland ruled the traffic stop and detention were legal, a decision later backed up by a federal appeals court in Boston.

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