Tom Brady isn’t the only one taking heat following the decision by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to uphold his four-game suspension for using deflated footballs in the Patriots’ AFC championship victory.

Scarborough town officials have been getting calls since Wednesday from upset taxpayers who erroneously believed the town was giving special police protection to Goodell, who owns a house on Prout’s Neck.

It started on Tuesday, when Goodell drew the ire of fans throughout the region by announcing his decision to uphold a four-game suspension against Brady, the reigning Super Bowl MVP and a New England hero.

On Wednesday, the Portland Press Herald reported that the NFL had notified the Scarborough Police Department that the decision was coming and that it might not be popular in these parts. Police Chief Robbie Moulton told the newspaper his department would be patrolling the area, but didn’t say anything about special protection.

That’s when the telephone started ringing.

“We started to get a number of calls from residents and elected officials about whether any taxpayer support was being asked for or provided here,” Town Manager Thomas Hall said Thursday.



The questions led Moulton to issue a terse news release Wednesday that read: “The Scarborough Police Department is not providing, nor were we requested to provide, any private security to Commissioner Goodell’s home. No taxpayer funds are being utilized.”

Moulton said Tuesday there had been no threats against Goodell, but that police would be patrolling in the area of his house, a $6.5 million property by the ocean. Goodell and his wife, former Portland TV news reporter Jane Skinner, built the house in the exclusive summer enclave, which sits behind a gatehouse and is bounded by the ocean.

Based on the construction plans in 2012, the main house has six bathrooms and four bedrooms. It also has a playroom for the children, a gym, a theater and a wine cellar.

Moulton said in the story that police were not planning any special protection. That didn’t stop some people who posted online comments on such as:

“He’s just not that important to waste taxpayers $$$$$ on that property. … I am quite sure the Scarborough police have better things to do.”


Goodell “makes $44 million a year and he wants the taxpayers to pay for extra security???”

Scarborough is no stranger to contentious disputes over property taxes and town spending. The local school budget has been shot down twice, in part because of people objecting to its impact on local tax bills.


Some of Wednesday’s confusion may come from an arrangement the Prout’s Neck Association, which is composed of homeowners on the neck, has made with the town for added police protection.

The association pays $55,600 a year for a Scarborough officer to provide security in the area.

“The duties change seasonally,” Hall said. “This time of year when residents and homeowners are here, there’s a lot of parking enforcement, that kind of stuff. In the winter, it’s more kind of wellness checks and make sure the doors are locked.”


Having a dedicated officer allows other officers on patrol to focus on other areas of town. The properties also pay a hefty tax bill. According to the town assessor’s database, the property linked to Goodell paid about $111,000 in property taxes in the past year.

“They could certainly contract with private security to do much the same. Clearly, they want a sworn peace officer that has all the rights and responsibilities in the state of Maine,” Hall said.

The town often provides additional police protection elsewhere at private expense, such as when officers are stationed at Beech Ridge Speedway, the cost of which is covered by the business, he said.

NFL security notified Scarborough police in advance of the decision being announced as a professional courtesy, Hall said. He was surprised at the attention it got.

The criticism went far beyond Scarborough taxpayers.

A website called posted an item under the headline: “Roger Goodell Begs The Scarborough Police To Protect His 6.5 Million Dollar Vacation Home.”

“It did kind of go viral. I know the chief was fielding calls from most of the local media folks and some regional interest as well and even national,” Hall said. “Laughable is the only word I can think of for a non-story that became a story.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login 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.