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Maine Capitol Police Chief Russell Gauvin retires after being placed on leave in January

Gauvin faced criticism after reports of posts to his personal social media pages supporting far-right conspiracy theories.
Capitol Police Chief Russell Gauvin
Capitol Police Chief Russell Gauvin(WABI)
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 3:00 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) -The Maine Department of Public Safety announced that Maine Capitol Police Chief Russell Gauvin is retiring effective Friday.

Gauvin has been on paid administrative leave since Jan. 19. That is when Gauvin faced criticism after reports of posts to his personal social media pages supporting far-right conspiracy theories.

Gauvin apologized when the social media posts became public.

The Bureau of Human Resources conducted a review of Gauvin’s social media posts. Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck said the review is closed and is subject to confidentiality because it is a personnel-related record.

Sauschuck said Gauvin’s retirement was the result of an agreement to move Capitol Police forward under new leadership.

“The Maine Capitol Police serves an incredibly important role in the security of our state capitol,” Sauschuck said in a statement. “I appreciate Chief Gauvin’s 15 years of faithful service to the State, and we look forward to selecting a successor to lead this agency into the future.”

“I believe now is the appropriate time to step into retirement. My retirement will allow the important work of the Capitol Police to continue uninterrupted. I extend my deepest gratitude to the men and women of the Capitol Police for the honor of leading them,” Gauvin said in a statement.

Lt. Robert Elliot, who has been leading Capitol Police since Gauvin was placed on leave, will continue to lead the department until a permanent replacement is found, Sauschuck said.

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