May 14—FRYEBURG — Former police Chief Joshua Potvin had his state license to be a police officer revoked by the state's oversight board for intentionally falsifying a police report to get out of a public meeting.
The action by the board of trustees for the Maine Criminal Justice Academy was taken Jan. 15 and became public after Potvin dropped his appeal in late April.
The revocation prevents Potvin from ever working in law enforcement in Maine.
He resigned as police chief July 31, 2020, following two months of paid administrative leave.
Potvin attended a Select Board meeting Feb. 27, 2020, according to the written report. Wishing to leave the meeting before public comments, Potvin texted one of his officers requesting he be called from the meeting. Potvin quickly left the meeting after he was called by his subordinate officer.
Potvin drove to the Fryeburg Fairgrounds to meet with his officer. While at the fairgrounds, Potvin saw an employee of the fairgrounds getting into his own vehicle and made a false report that it was a suspicious person.
To cover for his early departure from the meeting, Potvin "created a false record of a call for assistance by making a series of entries into the Computer Aided Dispatch system maintained by the Bureau of Consolidated Emergency Communications through the use of the mobile date terminal in his cruiser."
Potvin then made an entry into the system saying he took a call for suspicious activity at the fairgrounds. He then entered the fairground employee's vehicle license plate number. Two minutes later he wrote, "Suspicious person at fairgrounds. Fair employee — all set." He then cleared the call.
Teamsters Local 340, which represents full-time police officers on the Fryeburg force, filed a complaint against Potvin on March 18 on behalf of one or more officers. After an investigation, the town placed Potvin on paid administrative leave May 18, according to Teamsters local business agent Traci St. Clair last year.
A complaint was filed with the Maine Criminal Justice Academy against Potvin on July 9, alleging that he made a false report on Feb. 27, among other things.
His resignation took effect July 31, 2020.
Potvin's actions are considered a Class D crime of tampering with public records by knowingly entering false information into the dispatch system. It is unclear if formal charges will be filed against Potvin.
According to Rick Desjardins, director of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, Potvin's name has been entered into the National Decertification Index.
Potvin joined the department as a part-time officer in 2013 and was named chief in September 2014.
According to a biography released by the town when he was hired as chief, he had served 18 years in law enforcement, mostly with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department as a patrol sergeant and as a team leader for the diving team.
He began his career in Harpswell enforcing maritime and boating safety laws. Prior to joining Fryeburg, Potvin accepted a position with the U.S. State Department conducting diplomatic security and explosive K-9 training at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.