BATH — A Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Deputy charged with allegedly assaulting his girlfriend at his West Bath home in June 2019 was fired last month following an internal investigation.

Matthew Shiers, 36, was arrested in July after an investigation by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with aggravated assault, domestic violence assault and cruelty to animals.

Capt. Donald Goulet of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said in July the victim confided in a friend, who reported the alleged assault to the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office on June 26.

During the fight, Shiers allegedly “purposefully injured the dog in order to get the victim to react,” Goulet said. This led to the charge of animal cruelty. The animal is OK, Goulet said.

Shiers’ case still hasn’t been resolved in Cumberland County Court where he is scheduled to appear on Feb. 25.

Shiers had worked for the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office since 2006 and had only faced discipline for failing to follow a department directive, Sheriff Joel Merry said after the arrest. He declined to elaborate on what that directive was.

Following his arrest, Shiers was initially placed on paid administrative leave. That was later changed to unpaid leave.

Merry said the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office to take over the investigation, “because you can’t investigate your own.”

The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office conducted its own internal investigation apart from the criminal investigation. Merry said he shared the findings with the three Sagadahoc County commissioners on Dec. 10, who voted to fire Shiers. Merry declined to release the findings of the investigation, calling it a personnel issue.

The sheriff’s office is working to fill the vacancy on the department, the first opening in 2 1/2 years.

“It’s been a long process, as these things are,” Merry said Tuesday. “You shouldn’t hurry through them. You should take your time and be deliberate but at some point, you have to make a decision as to what you’re going to do and what the future is going to be. We made that decision on what would be in the best interest of the county.”

Attempts to reach Shiers and his attorney Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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