LEBANON, Maine (AP) — Residents of this southern Maine city are going to vote whether or no longer to recall several city leaders in a flap that grew out of the engage out board chairman’s decision to take a farmer’s pot plants.
Farmer Eric Kelley accused Purchase Board Chairman Charles Russell Jr. and board member Ernest “Butch” Lizotte Jr. of swiping $100,000 value of plants, knowing that the farmer was in jail. In addition, local animal maintain an eye on officers took his livestock.
District Attorney Kathryn Slattery confirmed there was an investigation that centered on that you can imagine theft. Nonetheless there was no longer adequate proof to existing the charges “beyond a reasonable doubt,” she advised The Associated Press.
Anger over the marijuana episode apparently served as a tipping point for a recall effort targeting Russell, Lizotte and another one who went to the farm that evening. The recall also targets a third selectman who’s accused of missing half of this year’s meetings.
Russell, who grows medicinal marijuana for household use, consulted for a local pot business and helped draft city marijuana ordinances, acknowledged to the Boston Globe that he pilfered Kelley’s marijuana plants. Nonetheless he said he did it because he didn’t want the plants getting “into the hands of the ghastly folks” whereas Kelley was in jail. He called it a “public safety” matter.
Michael Walsworth, a leader of the recall effort and member of the city’s Budget Committee, said that the marijuana incident was bad but he’s vexed about other things that are beneath the radar.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” he advised the newspaper.
The city of Lebanon disbanded its police force in 1991. The case was investigated by the state police. Trooper Patrick Hall wrote that Russell acknowledged he had no legal authority to take the the plants, and he renowned that his livestock looked as if it’d be legal fine, the newspaper reported.