Attorney General closes case concerning Camden store owner
Camden — The case involving Village Variety store owner Gary Fowlie has been closed, according to the Maine Attorney General's Office.
Investigators for the Attorney General's Office found no human rights violation, Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin said Feb. 10.
Fowlie did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment on the case's closure.
Fowlie, owner of Village Variety — also known as Stop-N-Go — in Camden, previously denied using racial slurs but admitted there was a confrontation between him and another man.
"I never have in my life and never would do that [use racial slurs]," he said Jan. 9. " ... When you're accused of something you're not, it's so hard to defend yourself."
Carla Delaney of Portland said she reported to Camden Police that Fowlie used abusive language toward her son's father and her son, both of whom are African-American, during a heated confrontation at the store.
The confrontation began when the man, who reportedly has a medical issue, was told the store does not have a public restroom. He then went behind the store in an alleyway to relieve himself and was subsequently confronted by Fowlie.
According to Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne, an incident on New Year’s Eve was reported to the police and investigated by Detective Curt Andrick.
Fowlie previously confirmed that an employee of the store contacted police about the incident and said he filed a complaint about the urination on his property and trespassing. He said there is a "no trespassing" sign behind the store where the confrontation took place. No charges have been filed regarding the urination or trespassing.
Fowlie noted Delaney took to Facebook with her complaint as well, and said he is not a member of the popular social media site. He bemoaned the one-sidedness of her post and noted locals, who may have had a problem with him in the past, fueled the fire.
"Somehow I got caught in the middle of things," Fowlie said. " ... This is my property, I'm here more than I am home."
Fowlie said the situation and resulting social media outpouring has been difficult to deal with.
"It's been a nightmare for me, my family and employees," Fowlie previously said. " ... It's a very odd, stressful situation but the police are handling it."
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Stephanie is editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. She previously served as editor of Camden Herald following its return in April 2012.
Stephanie also was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has nearly a decade of experience in the newspaper business ranging from southern and central Maine to Waldo County.
Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.
Stephanie lives in Washington with her husband Jeff, four children, a dog named Chewbacca, a rabbit and chickens.