HALLOWELL — City councilors will take more time to develop employment policy changes motivated by a past sexual assault allegation against Police Chief Eric Nason.

Councilor George Lapointe, head of the Hallowell City Council’s personnel committee, said at a Monday meeting that the panel is formulating a fraternization policy to regulate relationships between supervisors and employees.

Lapointe said City Manager Michael Starn will gather those types of policies from other cities and towns “to help Hallowell find the best possible policy” to recommend to the full council. Then, he said the committee will recommend other changes, including mandatory sexual harassment training for city employees.

The mulled change come after a 22-year-old female police officer’s allegation against Nason, made in June 2013 and reported by the Kennebec Journal this June. The Maine State Police investigated the report after a sexual encounter between the two at Nason’s camp, but no charges were brought against the chief.

Nason has said through an attorney that the sexual encounter that prompted the investigation was consensual, while the officer has maintained the allegation through her attorney. Both have admitted having a sexual relationship before that incident.

As in many other cities and towns in Maine, Hallowell’s employment policy doesn’t restrict employee relationships. Maine law mandates sexual harassment training in workplaces with 15 or more employees, but Hallowell doesn’t have that many.


Some police agencies have fraternization policies that either prohibit relationships between supervisors and employees or establish intermediaries to deal with subordinates in a relationship with a higher-up. Outside experts have told the Kennebec Journal that those policies help keep personal business from harming the workplace.

After publicity around the incident involving the officer, a 43-year-old Rome woman made a misconduct complaint to the city against Nason.

She has said 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 Kennebec Journal doesn’t name possible victims of sex crimes.

Councilors also met behind closed doors on Monday to discuss a private investigator’s report on that incident, which was commissioned by Hallowell City Manager Michael Starn in July. However, no action was taken after councilors emerged from their executive session, which is required by state law when discussing sensitive personnel matters.

Before that, at the meeting’s outset, the Rome woman spoke to councilors, criticizing the amount of time that the city has taken to investigate her complaint as Nason has remained on the force.

“What we have here is a failure to protect the public,” she said. “And I am outraged.”

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

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