Woodland officials seek protection from Select Board member

1 month ago

WOODLAND, Maine – Three town officials have sought police protection from a Select Board member.

At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, Chairperson Matt Cole said that he called the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office in December after fellow board member Tom Drew allegedly harassed him, board member Kathy Ouellette and Town Clerk Bridget Coats at the town office. 

Cole did not reveal the circumstances leading up to the call.

“We were the ones not safe, so that’s why we had to call the sheriff,” Cole said during the meeting.

Drew has often been at the center of controversy within the town of about 1,200 residents. His absence resulted in the cancellation of several Select Board meetings last fall. Drew said there were conflicts between him and fellow board members. These issues arose amid a period of turnover on the board and within the town office and public works, which has left residents frustrated and eager for stability.

Drew brought up the allegations against him Tuesday after reviewing board meeting minutes he said he was unable to pick up at the town office due to a protection order against him.

Though Drew has attended every public board meeting since December, he said he has not attended private executive sessions or gone to the town office.

Drew shared with residents and the Bangor Daily News emails he sent to Coats, asking how he might attend executive sessions via Zoom. In another email, Drew asks Coats to email him an information packet for Tuesday’s meeting or notify him when the packet is in his mailbox at the town office.

“[The packet] was there at noon today but you did not pick it up,” Coats said, while addressing Drew during Tuesday’s meeting.

Drew said he did not pick up the meeting packet because of the protection order. He said two of the three charges against him were dropped, but another remains open.

Efforts to reach Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately successful Wednesday.

Coats and the board did not address why they allegedly did not respond to Drew’s request for Zoom access to executive sessions.