By Joshua Gray
Augusta, Maine – State Trooper Lt. Scott W. Ireland was quietly transferred back to the executive protection unit, after his troubled tenure as the commander of the weapons and licensing unit. Newly promoted Lt. Michael Johnston is now in command of the unit. This happened more than a year after Lt. Ireland shot and killed a man in Vassalboro and amidst an onslaught of accusations that he is an unethical cop. A private investigator, from Boston has repeatedly claimed that Lt. Ireland is a dishonest police officer and even predicted that he would kill someone. The investigator’s warnings were answered with a false criminal charge and denial of his application for licensure to work in Maine. Lt. Ireland’s transfer happened at the same time Superior Court Judge M. Michaela Murphy was deciding the private investigator’s appeal of his license denial.
It seems very plausible that Ireland’s transfer back to the unit he was promoted from, is a result of his involvement in the killing of two people, as well as information revealed during the appeal of the private investigator’s license. While the state did not take away Trooper Ireland’s lieutenant stripes, they did move him to the executive protection unit where he will have minimal contact with the general public, and is now part of a State Police unit that protects the Governor and other executive’s. This can clearly be viewed as a demotion for a series of poor decisions that led to the death of a man, violations in constitutional rights and exposure to lawsuits.
Private Investigator, Joshua Gray, from Boston, has long stated his opinion that Mr. Ireland is a dirty cop who is a danger to the public. PI Gray’s warnings were echoed by others in the private investigation industry. PI Gray predicted that Lt. Ireland would kill someone nearly a year before he was involved in the killing of a man and woman in Vassalboro, Maine. Lt. Ireland fired the shot that killed Kadhar Bailey, while trooper Jeff Parks fired the shot that killed Amber Fagre. PI Gray had applied for a private investigator license in Maine in 2003 and was denied based on parking tickets. After that denial, PI Gray learned the Maine State Police have a reputation for not allowing non-law enforcement to become licensed private investigators in Maine. PI Gray was told, by many other private investigators, the State of Maine was corrupt when it came to who they give private investigator licenses too.
In 2011 when PI Gray applied for a PI License a second time, it was no surprise when the State Police filed a false criminal charge against him for working in Maine without a license. This was completely untrue and then Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hjelm, who is now a Maine Supreme Court justice, dismissed the case before trial. Lt. Scott W. Ireland then retaliated against PI Gray when he allowed Detective David Pelletier to contact Mr. Gray’s largest client and inform them he was under an ‘investigation that is ongoing’. The client immediately stopped using PI Gray, but the retaliation did not stop there. PI Gray’s license application was denied citing the very false criminal charge that had just been dismissed. During the appeal process, PI Gray reached an agreement to withdraw the application, wait for twelve months and then reapply. This compromise was made in an effort to stop endless appeals by both sides.
When PI Gray applied for a Maine PI License for the third time, he fully anticipated the application would be denied. PI Gray retained attorney Roger Hurley early in the process to be prepared. It was expected when the application was denied after a nine month background investigation. What was your unexpected was the reason they gave. The State Police cited social media posts that were critical of Lt. Ireland’s handling of the killing in Vassalboro as their reason for denying the private investigator license application. The denial was immediately appealed and exposed just how far the State Police would go to violate Mr. Gray’s constitutional rights.
During the appeal process the State of Maine argued that PI Gray was an incompetent, immoral liar because he wrote false information on social media. However, they failed to mention that whenever something he wrote turned out to be wrong, he corrected himself. They even went so far as to not include the corrected social media posts in their discovery materials. The state’s attorney made the argument that Lt. Ireland had no history of internal affairs complaints, when PI Gray himself had made an internal affairs complaint a few years prior. They said that Mr. Gray’s claim of Lt. Ireland killing the man outside his house was a lie, but then told the court that it actually happened one half mile down the street. In rural Maine, that is outside a house! The State made the claim that PI Gray accused Lt. Ireland of possibly being drunk, but then told us the only drug or alcohol test was another officer smelling the breath of Lt. Ireland. No blood, breathalyzer or scientific tests were conducted to confirm that. While someone involved in the case was clearly incompetent, immoral and a liar, it was not PI Gray.
Lt Ireland was found to be justified in the shooting of the man in Vassalboro and has no sustained internal affairs complaints on his record. However, while the state of Maine will not find him at fault publicly, they appear to be quietly taking steps to limit his ability to keep making poor decisions that could expose them to more lawsuits. The mother of Amber Fagre filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the State Police and both Lt. Ireland and Trooper Parks were named in the suit. While U.S. District Judge Lance Walker recently ruled that Lt. Ireland was to be removed from the lawsuit, Lt. Ireland’s actions helped expose the state to the legal liability in the first place. Mr. Gray continues to maintain his opinion that Lt. Scott Ireland is an unethical cop, who is a danger to the citizens of Maine, but there is some limited justice in seeing that he has been transferred to a unit where he will have less contact with the general public.
This article was written by Joshua Gray, PI from Boston, MA
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