Maine sheriff deemed ‘unworthy’ of the job asked to step down in letter to the governor

Oxford County commissioners on Wednesday agreed to ask Maine Gov. Janet Mills to remove a sheriff accused of improprieties including the sale of guns from an evidence locker without proper notifications or documentation.

Describing Sheriff Christopher Wainwright as “unworthy” of the job, the commissioners said in a 10-page complaint that there’s no room for a sheriff who holds himself “above the policies that he is charged with administering, above the ethical responsibilities that he swore an oath to uphold, and the laws that he is charged with enforcing.”

MAINE MUST RELEASE VOTER ROLLS TO CONSERVATIVE GROUP FOR INDEPENDENT AUDITS, FEDERAL COURT RULES

Under Maine law, the governor is the only person who can remove sheriffs, who are elected. Mills’ office had no immediate comment.

Wainwright said he’s acknowledged mistakes and apologized for them. “But let me be clear, there is nothing about my conduct in office, personally or professionally, that merits my removal,” he said Wednesday in a written statement.

Maine news

Sheriff Wainwright is facing controversy in the Pine Tree State, where his actions have drawn ire from county commissioners. (Maine News)

The sheriff faced several accusations in 2022 and 2023, including urging a deputy to go easy on an acquaintance cited for a traffic violation and allowing two school resource officers to carry guns even though they lacked proper law enforcement certifications to do so.

The gun sale involved dozens of weapons that were given to a gun shop without notifying county officials or recording the transaction. The sheriff’s office didn’t receive cash but received credits for service weapons and ammunition, officials said.

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Wainwright has not faced any charges related to the allegations.

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