Court documents detail Woodland select board member’s alleged threats against colleagues

3 weeks ago

WOODLAND, Maine — A select board member allegedly threatened three town government officials, according to court documents.

Select board Chairperson Matt Cole called the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 20 after fellow board member Thomas Drew allegedly became “volatile” toward him, board member Kathy Ouellette and Town Clerk Bridget Coats during an executive session, according to court documents.

Aroostook County Sheriff’s Deputy Dustin Charette served Drew with three protection from harassment orders at his home in Woodland on Dec. 22, on behalf of Cole, Ouellette and Coats.

An incident report filed by Charette and the protection orders examined by the Bangor Daily News allege that Drew put his colleagues in a state of fear with his actions.

Ouellette stated that Drew harassed her on multiple occasions starting last summer, after she was first elected to the select board

Ouellette alleged that in July while she was driving in Woodland, Drew pulled out in front of her vehicle quickly, made a turn and then pulled his vehicle back into her path, which frightened Ouellette and her grandchildren. 

Ouellettte said that on Dec. 20 Drew threatened her and said she should “get a posse ready.”

After an argument broke out at the Dec. 20 meeting, Drew allegedly swore and screamed at his colleagues and said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” Drew proceeded to taunt Cole and Ouellette as they walked into the hallway, Cole said.

“[Drew said] he was coming for me,” Cole said in a statement filed in Bangor District Court dated Jan. 2024. “I feel unsafe for myself and my family.”

According to Charette’s incident report, Drew refused to sign the orders, acknowledging that he received them, based on advice from his lawyer. 

Drew did not respond Tuesday to requests for comment.

Drew has been at the center of controversy in this town of about 1,200 residents. Conflicts between Woodland’s select board have often resulted in canceled public meetings and disrupted local government in the past year. 

Drew revealed the allegations against him during a March 19 select board meeting. He claimed that the protection orders prevented him from entering the town office to pick up meeting materials. Coats said that the orders did not ban him from going to the town office or taking part in public select board meetings.

The orders examined by the BDN did not ban Drew from the town office or meetings. 

Coats stated in court documents that Drew’s past behavior made her uncomfortable and fearful because she is the only employee in the town office.

Caribou Superior Court denied Coats’ request for a protection order in December, stating that her allegations were “disturbing” but did not meet the definition of “harassment” under state statute, according to Caribou court documents.

Cole and Coats withdrew their complaints against Drew in February, according to Bangor District Court records.

Ouellette and Drew are scheduled to appear in Bangor District Court Thursday, May 2, for a hearing on the order she took out against Drew. 

The court-approved protection order does not ban Drew from speaking to Ouellette during public meetings but prohibits him from “imposing any restriction” upon Ouellette, harassing, threatening, assaulting her and entering her family’s residence.