The Kennebec County commissioners asked me to remove the statue of former Chief Justice Melville Weston Fuller of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the granite cube on which it sits, from the lawn in front of the Kennebec County courthouse by June 1 of this year. I have now done exactly as they wished me to do, so far as the statue is concerned (“Kennebec County not notified before controversial statue abruptly removed from courthouse grounds,” Feb. 14). The commissioners neither limited me to daylight hours for removing the statue nor required me to give advance notice of my intention to remove it.

I consider certain remarks, made by a few of those who were at the Planning Board hearing, bordered on incendiary. Thankfully it was but a few who made them. I consider those remarks went beyond the right of free expression by the public guaranteed by the First Amendment. I suggest you look at the videotape of the hearing which is on the city’s web site and form your own opinion.

Moreover, another public disparaging remark about the statue concerned me. I recall one gentleman who, as reported in the Dec. 1, 2020, issue of your newspaper, said, “I don’t think we should move it (the statue)…I think we should destroy it and melt it down and make plumbing fittings from it. That’s my opinion on it.” Even though he later tempered his provocative remark, such a bell is not easily unrung.

Because of such remarks I thought it best to remove the statue and store it in a safe place for the time being. Moreover, I feared those remarks would encourage vandalism, and any advance publicity regarding the statue’s removal might cause public unrest.


Robert Fuller

Potomac, Maryland

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