CLINTON — Two town police officers are back to work after being placed on paid administrative leave last month after a local woman filed a complaint alleging they used unnecessary force against her.

Full-time officer Jeffrey Belanger and reserve officer Chris Parker returned to police duty on Oct. 12, Town Manager Aaron J. Chrostowsky said Wednesday. He also said that the town received notice that a lawsuit could be filed, which prompted a town investigation into the allegations.

Chrostowsky said that the investigation into the complaint was complete, but he declined to say what was found.

“The town is unable to comment publicly on internal personnel matters,” Chrostowsky said.

The woman who filed the complaint, Dannielle D. Douglass, 38 of Clinton, was arrested by the officers Sept. 9 during the Clinton Lions Club Fair. Douglass was charged with class D misdemeanor of violating a protective order and refusing to submit to arrest, according to Clinton Police Chief Craig Johnson.

Clinton town officials initially declined to identify Douglass or the officers involved.

Johnson would not comment on the case Wednesday, saying only that he was interviewed as part of the town’s investigation.

Douglass and her Newport-based attorney, Dale Thistle, did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday.

Details of what happened at the fair are not available. Waterville District Court did not as of Wednesday have records on file in connection with the charges.

Court records do, however, show that Douglass has pleaded not guilty to separate charges of reckless conduct and violating conditions of release stemming from an incident in Waterville on July 8. The police complaint alleges that Douglass recklessly created a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another person, although no further details are available.

Records indicate that Douglass, who is represented by Thistle in that case as well, has requested a jury trial.

In the days following the Lions Club fair incident, Chrostowsky said the complaint had been filed by a woman alleging the officers had injured her while she was arrested on a warrant. Chrostowsky said no weapons were involved.

The town hired Patricia Dunn, of the Portland law firm Jensen, Baird, Gardner and Henry, to investigate the complaint. Chrostowsky said he will evaluate the results of the investigation and determine whether any disciplinary action should be taken.

The Board of Selectmen has been informed of the town’s legal liabilities, Chrostowsky said. He said the town received from a court claim notice from Thistle that stipulates that a lawsuit can be filed within two years of the notice, and that’s what prompted the town to conduct its investigation.

“They’re aware of the possibility of a pending suit against the town and that’s pretty much all they can do at this point,” Chrostowsky said. “They’re aware of the personnel matters involved.”

Scott Monroe — 861-9239

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.