LEWISTON — Two weeks after Heather Everly Berube’s public accusations against Mayor Shane Bouchard led to his resignation, she stood in front of city officials with more allegations against the former mayor and criticism of the City Council for how it has handled the situation.

During a public comment period Tuesday, Everly Berube read a statement from someone she claimed is a former female student at Oak Hill High School in Wales, who alleges questionable conduct by Bouchard during his coaching days there.

According to the Sun Journal archives, Bouchard coached wrestling at Oak Hill for at least four years, ending about a decade ago.

Everly Berube said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, reached out to her following Bouchard’s resignation.

While Everly Berube read the statements, city officials attempted at least twice to halt the comment, with Mayor Kristen Cloutier asking whether the city’s ongoing investigation into alleged illegal activity by Bouchard should have prevented Everly Berube from commenting further.

Councilor Michael Marcotte argued because the Maine Attorney General’s Office was also part of the investigation, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to air personnel issues in this public setting.”

When Cloutier said a large portion of Everly Berube’s comments were not related to Lewiston city government, another woman in the audience spoke out.

“It’s pretty relevant to the community,” she said, and for the council, which was working with Bouchard.

Cloutier ultimately decided not to gavel down Everly Berube, who went on to criticize the new mayor and council for being “complicit” and in attempting to quickly move on from Bouchard’s misconduct rather than address it directly.

When Everly Berube claimed she had gone to the Lewiston Police Department with the allegations and that officers declined to look into them, Police Chief Brian O’Malley said he directed Everly Berube to the Sabattus Police Department.

Following her reading of the statement, Everly Berube said: “This is not about me or my own trauma or anyone’s judgments of me. It’s about safety and the rebuilding of our community. The women of our community and our neighboring communities and our country are all often silenced. There are young women who have reached out to me. However, they have not come forward due to public safety concerns.”

She said Bouchard’s actions during his campaign for mayor in 2017, which included sending racist and sexist texts, represent systemic issues in Lewiston that must be addressed, and that elected leaders are “complicit” in allowing them to continue.

Another woman during public comment urged the council to “do something and say something publicly about what Bouchard did.”

“Name it for what it is,” she said. “You have a huge black and brown population in your city.”

The woman was referring to a statement drafted by a majority of the council last week that condemned Bouchard’s “racist and sexist commentary” without naming him directly.

Councilor Alicia Rea said the statement was released in that manner — rather than as an official City Council resolve — because the city is still involved in a joint investigation with the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

Avesta Housing project wins rezoning

Also Tuesday, the City Council voted 4-2 to approve a contract rezoning for a proposed 35-unit housing development on the corner of Blake and Pine streets. The Sun Journal will have full coverage of that Thursday.

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