AUGUSTA — The former police chief of Greenville, who also worked for Augusta police for 17 years, pleaded guilty to felony charges of arson and burglary, as well as three misdemeanor charges, for breaking into a friend’s camp, shooting off his gun and setting his lawn furniture on fire.

Jeffrey Pomerleau, 54, formerly of Greenville, agreed to enter a Veterans Court treatment program for military veterans. The program is tied to Kennebec County’s Co-Occurring Disorders Court, which treats offenders with substance use and/or mental health problems.

If he successfully completes the Veterans Court requirements, which can include an array of treatment and requirements to check in with authorities at least weekly, only one misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief would remain on his record. The two felony charges, and lesser charges of theft and violation of condition of release, would all be dismissed.

His sentence on the remaining criminal mischief charge would be a suspended one-year sentence, meaning if he continues to not break the law and abide by conditions, he would not spend any time in jail.

If he is unsuccessful in completing the Kennebec County-based Veterans Court program, he could be sentenced on the felony charges of arson, a Class A offense punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and burglary. An agreement between Pomerleau’s lawyers and prosecutors set the sentence on the burglary charge, if he’s unsuccessful in the Veterans Court, at three years with all but one of those years suspended, meaning he’d spend a year imprisoned on that charge.

In order to participate in the court program, Pomerleau was required to plead guilty to the serious charges against him, most of which will be dismissed if he completes the program.


“The only way you can withdraw your plea is through that process, by successfully completing your treatment,” Superior Court Justice Deborah Cashman, who oversees the Veterans Court program, said in Monday’s hearing at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. “Our goal in this treatment court is to work with you to address things that need to be addressed and to help you help yourself, basically. We’ll see you on a weekly basis. I look forward to working with you.”

On June 29 Pomerleau, who retired as police chief in Greenville in 2020, allegedly used his shoulder to break through the door and enter the camp of a friend who had previously let him use it, in the northern Somerset County community of Tomhegan Township, north of Greenville. Prosecutor Tina Panayides said the man had declined Pomerleau’s request to use the camp, which he’d used previously, had changed the code to open a lock to the building and refused to give him that code.

A neighbor told police they saw Pomerleau discharge a shotgun at the camp and burn lawn furniture that belonged to the camp owner.

Pomerleau told police he had entered the camp, by using his shoulder to force his way in, to drink beer and have a fire. They later found at least one bottle that matched what Pomerleau said he’d been drinking.

Pomerleau worked for the Augusta Police Department from 1991 to 2007, when he left that job to work for Greenville Police, according to his LinkedIn profile page. Augusta city officials could not confirm Pomerleau’s work history with the city by press time Monday.

In January 2010 after Greenville’s former Police Chief Scott MacMaster, who is now police chief in Hallowell, left Greenville to become chief in Richmond, Pomerleau was hired as police chief in Greenville. He held that job for 10 years, retiring in 2020, according to the 2019-2020 Greenville annual town report.

While in court Monday, Pomerleau also pleaded no contest — which results in a finding of guilty — to misdemeanor charges of criminal threatening and criminal trespass, for an incident, unrelated to the arson and burglary, in Piscataquis County.

Published reports indicated that charge stemmed from a January incident in which Pomerleau entered a gym in Greenville where he had been warned, by the owner and police, not to enter, and which made a Greenville officer feel at risk of being physically harmed, according to a Piscataquis Observer report.

He was fined $300 on each of those charges.

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