Criminal charges have been dismissed against a Falmouth man arrested at a Scarborough Town Council meeting last November.

However, the town has asked the court to reconsider the case because it says it was not notified about the hearing on the dismissal.

Michael Doyle, 69, was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass for refusing to leave the meeting after his time in a public comment period had expired.

A video of the meeting shows that Doyle ridiculed the town’s bid to house an Amazon headquarters at Scarborough Downs. He also suggested that Town Manager Thomas Hall left his previous job in Rockland under suspicious circumstances. Then-council Chairman Shawn Babine and former Councilor William Donovan interrupted Doyle when he began to criticize Hall.

When Doyle protested and said he still had time to speak, Babine asked him to leave the council chamber. Doyle then sat down, but Scarborough Police Officer Mary Pearson asked him to stand, put him in handcuffs and led him from the chamber.

Doyle pleaded not guilty to the charge in January and filed a motion to dismiss the case.

At a hearing Monday, Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton dismissed the case with no objection from the state. No representatives from the town were present to argue against the ruling. The case, which was handled by Assistant District Attorney William Barry, was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be filed again.

Scarborough’s attorney, Mark Franco, said neither he nor the town was notified of the hearing date, and on Wednesday he filed a motion to reconsider the case. He is asking the court to reschedule the matter for oral argument, saying that the town was denied the opportunity to object to the dismissal motion. Franco said Doyle violated the town’s code of decorum, was disrespectful, and tried to defame the town manager.

Franco said he was in the process of drafting a response to Doyle’s motion when he learned the case had been dismissed.

Tamara Getchell, spokeswoman for the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, said her office was not required to notify the town’s attorney.

Doyle, a frequent critic of town government, argued he was illegally instructed to leave a public meeting. He said questioning the town manager’s previous job did not constitute disorderly conduct, and his removal from the meeting violated his First Amendment free speech rights.

Doyle said this week he did not want to discuss the outcome of the case, but did say that political speech cannot be censored.

Juliette Laaka can be contacted at 781-3661 ext. 106 or at:

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