Maine Boss Fired for Lying

Timothy Smith, a Cumberland County Jail correctional officer at the Cumberland County Jail and a high-ranking official of an unidentified union, was accused of vandalizing property and then lying about it in an attempted cover-up and was fired Jun. 4 by Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion. Smith also faces misdemeanor charges for criminal mischief and criminal conspiracy to file false public reports. Smith’s union was reportedly upset when told about the firing, especially since Smith was the jail’s union steward.

According to jail officials, an investigation began last fall after a feud among members of a fantasy baseball league exploded into alleged criminal behavior. Smith’s league broke down in acrimony because of, among other things, a disputed trade between teams within the league, as well as a controversial ruling by the league’s “commissioner.” Smith allegedly vandalized the car of Johnny Booker, a league member, and allegedly sprayed graffiti and damaged the league’s office, which was rented in Booker’s name.

Reportedly, Smith first admitted to some of the allegations, then later recanted, saying his brother was the vandal. Dion said he was more troubled by what he sees as outright lying by the former correctional officer than the vandalism: “I try to tell employees that they are allowed to make mistakes, but you can’t lie. It hurts the integrity of the organization. This organization cannot tolerate lying. It may be a misdemeanor in criminal law, but it’s a felony in organizational behavior.” [Portland Press Herald 6/5/99]