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Oxford County Sheriff's Office in new hands

The chief deputy is now in charge after former Sheriff Wayne Gallant handed in his resignation amid allegations of sexual misconduct. (WGME)

SOUTH PARIS (WGME) – The Oxford County Sheriff's Office in new hands Thursday night.

The chief deputy is now in charge after former Sheriff Wayne Gallant handed in his resignation amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

That chief deputy says he was blindsided by the situation.

Chief Deputy Hart Daley says the controversy surrounding former Sheriff Wayne Gallant cast a dark cloud over the small department.

He'll now try to bring trust back, until Governor LePage appoints a temporary sheriff.

"I'm definitely navigating some uncharted waters," Daley said.

He's been in the role for less than 24 hours.

"Just like everyone else I was blindsided,” Daley said. “It's kind of a whirlwind."

Chief Deputy Hart Daley is taking over for 3-term Sheriff Wayne Gallant after his resignation Wednesday night.

"It was not how I expected my sheriff to leave, just quickly resigning," Daley said.

It was a story CBS 13 first broke.

We confronted Gallant back on Nov. 21 with a sexually explicit photo of himself, which he admitted to taking in his office, while in uniform.

The same office Daley is now in.

"I found out about the allegations and the behavior 15 minutes before it went on the news station,” Daley said. “Because my sheriff called me and said ‘I'm just giving you a heads up.’"

County commissioners eventually filed a complaint against Gallant to the governor, alleging he sent lewd photos of himself to one of his officers, and that officer's female companion, soliciting them for sex.

Daley says he knew nothing about it.

"I don't condone that activity at all and I wouldn't tolerate it,” Daley said. “If that complaint had come to me I would have went directly to the AG's office."

The next step is appointing a new sheriff.

By law the governor has that choice, but because Gallant was a democrat he has to choose someone from the same party.

Oxford County Democrats say they're working on a date to hold caucuses for all 36 towns and then send choices to the governor.

Daley says he hopes he'll be in the running, but is focusing now on rebuilding this department.

"We're going to have to prove to the citizens that we're a professional agency again," Daley said.

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