Westbrook Mayor Michael Foley will resign his position to become the town manager in Gray, he announced Saturday.

Michael Foley will resign as Westbrook mayor and take a job as Gray town manager. Photo courtesy of the City of Westbrook.

Foley has served as mayor since 2019 and previously sat on the Westbrook City Council. He announced the change Saturday in an email to the City Council and in a written statement.

“I am honored to have had the privilege of serving as your mayor. Together, we have faced challenges, celebrated milestones, and have worked every day toward making this city a better place to affordably live, work, and play,” Foley said. “It’s with mixed emotions that I announce my resignation to begin a new chapter in my career, but I’m proud of what we have accomplished together and I’m thankful to have called this community my home for my entire life which is where I will continue to live while serving in Gray.”

The Gray Town Council unanimously selected Foley for the position and will take a formal vote on his appointment at a special meeting on Jan. 30. The council also promised to organize a meet-and-greet for residents.

“Michael impressed the Town Council by his leadership abilities, local government experience, and personality,” Town Council Chair Krista Chappell said in a news release. “It was clear he is a prime candidate to lead Gray and its government into our town’s prosperous future. This leadership includes both daily governance and major projects, like the on-going, community-led effort to transform the Gray Village.”

Foley told the American Journal in December that he would not seek reelection at the end of his term following the controversial decision to replace a Star of David with a dreidel in the city’s holiday lights display. The decoration was removed following complaints from Arab American residents who found it to be offensive given the ongoing war in Gaza.


Foley expects to start his new job in Gray part time on Wednesday before moving to full time on Feb. 13. His new salary will be $115,000.

He will serve as mayor in Westbrook until the end of the City Council meeting on Feb. 12. City Council President David Morse will then be sworn in as acting mayor.

The former town manager in Gray was Nate Rudy, who resigned in September to take a position as a foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department. Gray Public Library Director Joshua Tiffany has served as interim town manager.

Last spring, town officials in Gray asked the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office to investigate the misappropriation of town funds. An annual town audit in April found that an employee who was leaving a job was paid $27,000 in accrued sick time – far more than allowed under the town policy.

In a letter dated April 7 to town officials, auditors from RHR Smith & Co., a certified public accounting firm in Buxton, detailed other problems, including missing credit card invoices, inconsistencies with vacation time records and a lack of internal controls with payroll. They also noted problems with payroll tax withholding that led to IRS penalties.

Auditors also found that some town employees were paid for vacation days while also receiving their regular pay.

Town officials reported the alleged misappropriation to “local and state law enforcement,” the town manager and Town Council wrote in a letter to residents in May. They pledged to review all fiscal policies and implement “whatever additional controls are necessary to prevent these inconsistencies from happening again.”

A town spokesman did not respond to an email Saturday seeking an update about that investigation. Foley said he doesn’t know much about the situation yet.

“But financial integrity of any public organization is critical and I will use my experience in Westbrook to help restore the public’s trust,” he wrote in an email. “My work will help to ensure appropriate checks and balances are in place.”

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