WINTHROP — Two longtime town officials are leaving their posts.

Sarah Fuller, who served as chair of the Winthrop Town Council for nearly a decade, has resigned eight months before her term was to expire, and Chief Ryan Frost announced he is planning to retire in September after more than 30 years with the Police Department.

Their departures follow the abrupt resignation in February of Town Manager Jeff Kobrock.

Kobrock said he stepped down because he had faced the worst bullying, harassment and threats of his career after advancing an ordinance regulating moorings in town waters. In the wake of that policy, a small group of residents “adopted a personal mission” to attack the town’s staff members and leadership, and officials requested a police presence at public meetings out of concern for their safety, the former town manager said at the time.

Fuller, who also came under fire for her support of the mooring ordinance, said her exit is “not unrelated” to the alleged harassment.

Tensions have continued to brew between residents and officials over a proposal for a open-pit quarry that opponents say poses health and environmental risks. Earlier this month, a divided Town Council passed a temporary ban on such projects to allow officials more time to decide how to regulate them.


“It has been difficult and continues to be a very difficult stretch for many of our public servants,” said Fuller, who joined the Town Council in 2009.

Fuller said previously that examples of harassment she has experienced included people showing up at events where she was scheduled to be and tracking down councilors on social media. She also said one councilor had observed someone slowly driving by their house, and that a person once approached another councilor’s grandchild and “told them told them their grandfather was a bad man.”

The council unanimously approved Fuller’s resignation Monday, effective immediately. A special election to fill her seat has been scheduled for June 13.

Frost said he did not face harassment in his role and his decision to leave has “nothing to do with any events or situations.”

Monmouth’s police chief, Paul Ferland, is stepping in as interim chief as Frost transitions into retirement.

Frost said that while he is aware of the concerns raised by Kobrock, Fuller and others, the Police Department has not received formal reports of harassment against town officials.


“I have heard the same verbal claims that have been aired at council meetings of taunting and harassment toward the Town Council and town staff, but, again, there have been no police investigations on the issues,” said Frost, whose tenure with Winthrop included a one-year stint as town manager.

Frost added that there also have been “no reports of any physical incidents” involving public officials in Winthrop.

Neither Kobrock nor Fuller has filed for a protection from harassment order against anyone, according to a Kennebec County Superior Court clerk.

Council Vice Chair Anthony Weiss said  Tuesday that Fuller “will be missed.”

“It was a great honor to work with the staff and for the people of Winthrop,” Fuller said. “I wish them the best as they work on the variety of challenges ahead and meet the needs of the entire community.”

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