Selectwoman pleads innocent in assault case

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BIDDEFORD — The vice chairwoman of the Buxton Board of Selectmen has pleaded not guilty to allegedly assaulting the town’s solid waste manager.

Selectwoman Jean Harmon, 56, was issued a summons on Nov. 8 by Saco Police for allegedly assaulting Solid Waste Manager Gregory Heffernan on Town Hall property on Oct. 3, according to court documents.

The Buxton Police Department asked the Saco Police Department to investigate the incident to eliminate any potential conflict of interest, according to Saco Deputy Police Chief Jack Clements.

Harmon waived an arraignment scheduled for Jan. 9 at Biddeford District Court and entered a not guilty plea through her attorney Michael Ayotte in a letter to the court dated Jan. 2.

Harmon’s plea was entered in the court system on Jan. 4, according to court records. She is scheduled to next appear in court at 1 p.m. on March 5 for a dispositional conference, according to court records.

Harmon has not responded to requests for comment.

Heffernan told the American Journal last month that under the advice of his lawyer he was not allowed to talk about the alleged incident.

Harmon remains on the selectboard, a position she has had for 16 years. Her current term ends in June 2020.

Buxton is governed by five elected selectboard members and does not have a town manager.

According to Buxton town charter, a member of the Board of Selectmen must forfeit their seat if they are convicted of “a crime or offense punishable by a term of imprisonment for more than six months.”

Assault is a Class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days incarceration and a $2,000 fine.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 780-9015 or email egotthelf@journaltribune.com.