Terry Marks, left, a candidate for the Pittston Select Board, greets and opens the door for a voter Monday at the Town Office at 38 Whitefield Road. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

PITTSTON — After weeks of controversy,  an attempt to oust Selectman Joe Caputo failed at the polls Monday, as nearly two-thirds of residents casting ballots voted to keep him.

Pittston Selectman Joe Caputo takes part in the debate during Pittston town meeting on Saturday at Pittston Randolph Consolidated School. An attempt to oust him from office failed at the polls Monday. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

More than 600 people turned out at the Pittston Town Office Monday to decide whether Caputo would remain on the board and to fill open seats on the Select Board and Gardiner-area school district.

With 281 votes, Cathy Jewett Thomas won the seat on the Select Board, replacing Mary Jean Ambrose. Terry Marks received 264 votes and Tim Lawrence received 63.

Linda Caputo will serve as one of Pittston’s representatives on the Maine School Administrative District 11 School board, receiving 303 votes to Alex Stone’s 290 votes.

Monday’s election followed Saturday’s annual town meeting, where voters passed a $1.7 million municipal budget after more than three hours of debate.

The results of the recall election mark the end of months of uncertainty for Caputo.


In December, Cheryl Peaslee submitted a petition to recall Caputo to town officials, saying that Caputo had created a hostile work environment for staff working at the Town Office and that his decisions as selectman were not in the town’s best interests.

Caputo was elected to the Select Board a year ago.

In the weeks that followed, the certification of the petition stalled while Jane Hubert, chairwoman of the Select Board, consulted with the town attorney about the differences between the town’s ordinance for the recall of a municipal officer and the state’s recall statute, under which an official may be subject to a recall only if that person commits a crime while in office and the municipality is the victim.

Pittston voters decided Monday not to recall Selectman Joe Caputo and fill two other seats. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

In February officials, after consulting with the Maine Municipal Association and the town’s attorney, set the date for a special town meeting to rescind the town’s recall ordinance and a date to vote on Caputo’s recall.

In the days before the special town meeting, Peaslee filed an injunction to stop the rescinding of the ordinance, but failed, and the town voted to ditch the ordinance.

To date, the town has incurred more than $9,000 in legal fees in matters related to the recall, town officials say, including nearly $6,000 related to the recall ordinance and the injunction to stop the special town meeting.


In recent days, several residents posted on the town’s unofficial Facebook page allegations that someone had been removing political signs leading up to Monday’s election.

Removing a temporary sign, such as a political sign, is illegal in Maine and is punishable with a fine of up to $250.

Portions of Kennebec County are patrolled alternately by the Maine State Police and the Kennbec County Sheriff’s Office. Town Clerk Valerie Hanson said state police contacted the town office last week following sign complaints. The Kennebec County Sherriff’s Office did not immediately respond to inquiries Monday.

In uncontested races, Marlene Colvin was elected to a three-year term on the Planning Board; Jason Corliss, Joseph Eastman and Tim Lawrence were elected to three-year terms on the Budget Committee; Jazmyne Marks was elected to a three-year term on the Personnel Committee; and Larry Ireland was elected to the East Pittston Water District board.

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