Theft Charges Against Former Maine Chief Dropped

The chief was accused of buying gas for personal vehicles with the department credit card.

At the time a Lincoln resident and full-time worker at Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC, Powers accepted what was then a $500 per month position in November 2003. He had resigned for personal reasons in August 2003, Clark said. The fact he was rehired in November of that year was a testament to town leaders' approval of Powers' work, selectmen said at the time.

Powers also developed and expanded the town's ambulance service, officials said.

Powers is not the first town fire chief to resign. In October 2003, Assistant Chief Hans Miller, Rescue Chief John Heald and Fire Chief Frank Hammond -- Powers' predecessor -- resigned, and the town's fire rescue squad dwindled from 28 members to nine. Fire rescue team members alluded to micromanagement of the team by certain town officials and said they "cannot in good conscience recommend anyone for the chief's position."

The controversy has divided residents, Tolman said. Some support Powers and others do not.

"There are some very upset residents," Tolman said. "It was a lot of money."

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