Wayne Gallant

PARIS, Maine — A Maine county has sworn in a new sheriff whose predecessor faced sexual misconduct allegations.

The Sun Journal reports that Oxford County sheriff James Theriault was sworn in Tuesday and vowed to restore the faith of the community and rebuild morale in the department.

Theriault said he has taken out papers to run for a full four-year term.

Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant has resigned after admitting to sending a lewd photo of himself to a woman two years ago, and allegations that he solicited sex from co-workers.

“Sheriff Wayne Gallant just resigned effective immediately, he sent that in writing. He made that decision after long discussions with his family, his priest and after consulting with me,” says Jim Martemucci, Gallant’s lawyer.

Martemucci says the sheriff wants to thank the residents of Oxford County for allowing him to serve as their sheriff for 11 years.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Oxford County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to file a formal complaint to remove Sheriff Wayne Gallant from office for inappropriate sexual conduct. The matter is now in the hands of Gov. Paul LePage.

After spending most of the day in executive session, the three commissioners convened in open session by midafternoon, when commissioner David Duguay promptly made a motion.

“To issue a complaint to the governor with respect to the sheriff in the form reviewed by the commissioners in executive session,” he said.

The lawyer for Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant says Gallant denies any misconduct toward county employees in the wake of allegations raised by an agent of the union representing county employees.

Last week, Gallant admitted to sending sexually explicit photos of himself to a woman two years ago. The photos, which showed his genitals, were taken in his office while in his uniform.

Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant has admitted sending a sexually explicit photo of himself to a woman through text message, and is now facing additional allegations of improper sexual conduct by the union representing employees of the sheriff’s office.

The new allegations against Gallant surfaced late Wednesday afternoon in a published report in the Portland Press Herald. Gallant was first confronted about the sexually explicit photo by Portland TV station WGME on Tuesday, and in a statement admitted that it was taken in his office and that he was partially in uniform.