HALLOWELL — The city of Hallowell has received a private investigator’s report about an allegation of sexual misconduct against Police Chief Eric Nason that dates back to the 1990s.

City Manager Michael Starn wouldn’t discuss specifics of the report, which Hallowell commissioned in July after receiving a complaint from a 43-year-old Rome woman who alleges that while she dated Nason in the late 1990s, he took a pornographic picture of her as she slept that showed two other policemen posing in front of her.

The allegation surfaced after the Kennebec Journal published a June story detailing a sexual assault complaint against Nason by a 22-year-old female Hallowell police officer in June 2013. In that case, Maine State Police investigated and closed the case without filing any charges against Nason.

Starn said only he and Erik Stumpfel, the city’s attorney, have seen private investigator Thomas Cumler’s report on the older incident. The report originally was estimated to cost $4,000. Starn said he hadn’t gotten a final bill from Cumler after the report arrived Aug. 22.

 

Starn said he will discuss the report with city councilors in executive session at a Sept. 8 meeting, but he said he won’t give them the report unless they vote to see it.

“It’s pretty much in my hands from here,” said Starn, who is Nason’s supervisor.

It’s unclear whether councilors will vote on that. Councilor Alan Stearns, who made a successful motion to let councilors decide whether they wanted to see the state police report in the officer’s case, said he hasn’t proposed seeing the report in the other case because of the allegation’s age.

“I still don’t think it deserves the amount of scrutiny that the recent incident deserves,” Stearns said.

If it comes up, Councilor George Lapointe said he would be inclined to vote to allow councilors to see it; while two other councilors, Phillip Lindley and Lynn Irish, said they will wait until the meeting to decide whether they want to see it.

Lapointe, who is chairman of the council’s Personnel Committee, said the committee also will propose, at the September meeting, mandatory sexual harassment training for city employees. The committee has been discussing that and other changes since the female police officer’s allegation against Nason was made public by the Kennebec Journal.

Through an attorney, the female officer has she said and Nason had sex when she was too drunk to consent in June last year, while Nason said it was a consensual encounter. Both admitted they had a sexual relationship prior to the incident and both still work for the department.

The state withheld details of that case after repeated requests from the Kennebec Journal, and the newspaper is suing the state police in Kennebec County Superior Court for police reports and other case accounts. A court hearing in that case is scheduled for Friday in Augusta.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

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