Sheriff says probe into complaint against Medomak staff member finds no crime

By Stephen Betts | Nov 27, 2017
Photo by: RSU 40

Waldoboro — A police investigation into a complaint about inappropriate contact with a student by a Medomak Valley High School staff member concluded there was no crime.

Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison said the department received a call Nov. 2 from Waldoboro Police Officer Larry Hesseltine. The Waldoboro department had received a complaint of what the complainant considered inappropriate contact, the sheriff said.

"After interviewing and going over all details provided to him [Detective Don Murray] concluded no criminal activity was found," the sheriff said Wednesday, Nov. 22.

The complaint coincides with the unexplained absence of Medomak Valley High School Principal Andrew J. Cavanaugh and the Nov. 16 vote by the Regional School Unit 40 Board to hold a dismissal hearing on an employee.

Waldoboro Police Chief William Labombarde said Tuesday, Nov. 21, that the complaint made to his department about the principal was not within his jurisdiction, since what was being alleged had not occurred at the school or in Waldoboro. He said the department referred the matter to the Knox County department.

The chief said he could not comment on details of the complaint.

Dennison said she would not be releasing any more details so as not to interfere with what the RSU 40 Board is doing.

Cavanaugh said Friday, Nov. 24, from his Rockport home that he could not comment on the matter. He also would not answer whether he had retained an attorney to represent him before the board.

RSU 40 has not provided any details, pointing out that it was a personnel matter.

"Our highest priority, as always, is the safety and well-being of our students," Superintendent Steve Nolan said Nov. 17.

RSU 40 Board Chair Danny Jackson said Friday that he hopes next week to schedule the dismissal hearing.

Cavanaugh has been principal at Medomak Valley since 2015. He has worked at the school since at least 2004, when he was an economics and government teacher.

Medomak Valley is in the Lincoln County town of Waldoboro, but the other four communities in the district -- Union, Warren, Washington and Friendship -- are in Knox County.

Comments (10)
Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Nov 28, 2017 15:48


I was in Law Enforcement and know how it works so you can rest assured whatever happened in this incident will come out regardless of how you feel about it.

Gossip ? I guess you hold the record for that one.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Nov 28, 2017 02:41

Edwin: You do not trust the law enforcement community enough to trust their judgement in this matter? Why is it so important to know anymore than what is being released. If you think that the law enforcement is covering up something then file a complaint, I assume with the District Attorney's Office. Otherwise, what do you expect to gain by knowing anymore. Except more gossip. eh? I don't feel naming names is so critical at this point. Find something wrong and go after it or get over it.

Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Nov 28, 2017 01:40


"The complainant" gave the fact away that the victim must be a minor and attended Medomak HS by reporting it to the school and the local police maybe not realizing that the offense had to be reported to the jurisdiction where the offense occurred OR the complainant new by reporting it to the school the incident would not be ignored and taken seriously.

The School Board action is being taken because the issue of criminality is not there's to determine only what is against school policy.

The only thing we don't know as yet is the degree or location of the offense which was reported by a third party.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Nov 27, 2017 16:31

Mr. Ecker, for the sake of maintaining my reputation for commenting on so much to the disdain of Mr. Reggie and perhaps others I will add a comment to your comment. Do you honestly think that some people are treated differently? Opps, I almost joked on the question mark. I am not sure who is the complainant but that would be interesting only for fodder and not appropriate in the circle of justice today.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Nov 27, 2017 16:25

Mr. Reggie: If you read the article that is posted here you would have read that the activity did not supposedly happen in the jurisdiction of the Waldoboro PD, which is in Lincoln County, if I am correct (correct me if I am incorrect please), soooooooooooooooo the case was referred to Knox County where the activity was to have been taken place, but apparently there was no inappropriate activity. Besides, I like being correct, at least most of the time. And, I like to add comments which is commonly known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Get it Sir?

Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Nov 27, 2017 14:52

I am sure Mr Cavanaugh will be treated with the same scrutiny as any other citizen that has been accused of similar accusations involving a minor child and if you believe that you need your head examined !


Posted by: Reggie Montgomery | Nov 27, 2017 08:47

Dale Hayward, You seem to be an authority on everything that is reported on Villagesoup. Where does it say where any of the alleged inappropriate conduct or criminal activity took place? You are not the person to be answering every comment here.


Posted by: Dale Hayward | Nov 26, 2017 22:02

Reggie: Perhaps it supposedly happened in Knox County, not necessarily at the school which we all know is on Lincoln County side. The article clearly states just that.

Francis: Since they found no cause for action what would be served by publishing the complaint's name only to give people gossip fodder and what would that serve? There may be issues connected with that person that might be mental conditions that are no ones business, for instance. Everyone in the public sector is faced with accusations that can damage their careers, even if wrong. That is another entire issue. Look at the politicians that have recently been accused, tv personalities, and with all that flying around in the media it is a wild party for people who relish with rumors and accusations to draw their own conclusions for whatever reason. Nothing better to do I suppose. I am sure we will find out in the days and weeks and months to come about much of this going on.

Posted by: Reggie Montgomery | Nov 26, 2017 20:23

I'm a little curious as to why Knox county did an investigation for a Lincoln county school. Why didn't Larry Hesseltine call Lincoln county for the service?

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Nov 25, 2017 10:00

If this complaint is unfounded the name of the complainant should be released. A person's career can be ruined by false allegations and that is wrong as well.

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