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Embattled Oxford County EMA director resigns
PARIS -- Oxford County commissioners accepted the resignation of former Emergency Management Agency Director Scott Parker just before noon on July 19.
Parker's resignation was accepted “with regret,” according to a motion that commissioners passed unanimously. Parker hand-delivered the letter Tuesday morning, County Administrator Scott Cole said.
Commissioners voted to accept his resignation on the recommendation of the county's attorney, Bryan Dench.
In an email Tuesday, Parker said he would hold off on commenting until Aug. 2, his last day after his sick days and vacation days are depleted.
“I will be setting the record straight,” Parker wrote.
In May, Parker was the subject of an investigation by the sheriff's office on whether he broke privacy laws in the use of emergency phone number databases from CityWatch, an emergency notification system created to inform residents of natural disasters or other emergencies.
Parker has been on paid administrative leave since May 26. The commission has held several executive sessions and, at Parker's request, one open session on the matter.
According to Cole, Parker printed out complete 911 databases for the towns participating in the CityWatch program and began to distribute them to municipal employees in those towns. Cole said Parker ignored the protests of his employees in doing so.
Cole maintains that Parker not only violated a license agreement with Verizon but broke state law by copying and
disseminating confidential names, addresses and phone numbers from the databases.
Parker and his attorney, Daniel L. Cummings, contend that Parker neither broke laws nor breached the contract.
The District Attorney's Office didn't press charges, but Cole recommended commissioners fire Parker. In a letter to commissioners, Cole said Parker "demonstrated remarkably poor judgment."
While commissioners considered whether to keep him on the job, Parker received support from other emergency management officials, including fire chiefs and the director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency.
Cole said Allison Hill, who has been the acting director since Parker was placed on leave, would be the agency's interim director until the commission figures out how to organize the office. Hill is a six-year employee of the county's Emergency Management Agency office.
In a June 30 letter to selectmen, Cole recommended a reorganization of the EMA office to make its work “more transparent, more accountable and better synchronized with the needs of municipalities in Oxford County.”