A Superior Court justice declined to reconsider his dismissal of the town of Scarborough’s allegation of criminal trespass against a frequent local government critic.

Justice Andrew Horton allowed the town to formally object to the dismissal of its claim against Falmouth resident Michael Doyle, but said last week that he had no authority to grant the town’s motion to reconsider the case. In his May 17 ruling, Horton said the decision whether or not to proceed with the case falls to the district attorney’s office, which declined to prosecute.

Doyle, 69, was arrested last November at a Scarborough Town Council meeting. He was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass for refusing to leave the meeting after his time during a public comment period had expired. He violated the town’s code of decorum, was disrespectful, and defamed the town manager, town attorney Mark Franco said.

At the meeting, Doyle ridiculed the town’s bid to lure an Amazon headquarters to Scarborough Downs, and 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 meeting. Doyle sat down, but Scarborough police Officer Mary Pearson asked him to stand, handcuffed him and led him from the Council Chambers.

Doyle, a frequent critic of town government, argued he was illegally instructed to leave a public meeting. He said comments he made about Hall’s previous employment did not constitute disorderly conduct, and his removal from the meeting violated his First Amendment right to free speech.

The town was not represented at the April 19 hearing when the case was dismissed, although it was noted by Assistant District Attorney William Barry that the town objected to dismissal.

Franco said that neither he nor the town was notified of the hearing date, and so he filed a motion in April to reconsider the case.

Juliette Laaka can be contacted at 781.3661 ext. 106, or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @JulietteLaaka

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