Sheriff James DiPaola Dead
Embattled Sheriff apparently committed suicide in Wells, ME.
Sheriff James DiPaola has apparently committed suicide, according to several news reports.
Wells, Maine police confirm DiPaola was found dead inside of Lafayette Resorts, a coastal motel resort.
According to the press release, "The subject was discovered when the subject had failed to vacate his room by checkout time, and cleaning staff found the dead bolt lock engaged. The manager opened the door with a pass key and observed a male subject lying on the bed. The responding officers found a male subject lying on the bed with an apparent gunshot wound to the head."
The Middlesex Sheriff's department has also confirmed the "sudden death" of DiPaola. WHDH 7 News was first to report the apparent suicide. Police in Wells, ME would not confirm or deny the report, and said a press release about the matter would be issued tonight.
The sheriff had been under intense scrutiny over the last two weeks, as reporters and law enforcement officials investigated allegations of ethical and criminal wrongdoing. DiPaola announced late last week he would resign from his office. The announcement was made in advance of a Boston Globe investigation into DiPaola's plans to claim his pension while still working as sheriff.
Days later, Attorney General Martha Coakley's office announced an investigation into alleged campaign finance law violations committed by the embattled sheriff. The allegations were made public by a Fox 25 investigation.
In a letter to Middlesex residents announcing his retirement, DiPaola wrote, "I made a black and white decision based on finances instead of my moral compass to run for re-election and to apply for retirement."
The statement did not touch on the campaign finance irregularities alleged against him. The Middlesex District Attorney's office confirmed it forwarded a complaint to the AG for further investigation.
Attempts to reach Special Sheriff John Granara at Middlesex County Sheriff's headquarters on Saturday evening were unsuccessful.
The Middlesex Sheriff Department's press release on DiPaola's death reads as follows:
The Middlesex Sheriff's Office is sad to confirm the sudden death of Sheriff James V. DiPaola.
At this time we ask that the family's privacy be respected during this difficult time.
Operations at the Middlesex Sheriff's Office will continue under the direction of Special Sheriff John Granara.
Special Sheriff Granara requests you respect the privacy of the Middlesex Sheriff's Office family, as we continue to inform the extensive employee workforce.
Further details are not available at this time.
Arrangements will be handled by the family.