Gideon pulled funding for police and moved it to her nonprofit while on Freeport Town Council
Her defund vote and her vote to fund her own nonprofit with town money both attracted significant criticism at the time
Members of the press:
Sara Gideon said at Friday’s debate that she opposes defunding the police.
But that statement is at odds with her past record of doing exactly that.
In May 2010, Councilor Gideon took a controversial vote that successfully defunded the police dispatch in Freeport by about $70,000.
The decision stirred significant local opposition, including a petition in opposition signed by about 1,200 Freeport residents.
“Judith Blanchard, speaking on behalf of a number of concerned citizens, advised that a petition was submitted to the Town Clerk for certification seeking to halt consolidation of dispatch services with Brunswick. She noted that 1,227 Freeport residents signed the petition seeking a town wide vote to require that a dispatch center remain in Freeport.” (Freeport Town Council Meeting Minutes #12-10, 6/22/10)
After defunding the police department, Gideon took a Sept. 2010 vote to provide about $70,000 in grant forgiveness to a nonprofit called Freeport Community Services. Gideon was on the board of Freeport Community Services at the time, and a Freeport resident and former registrar for the Maine Ethics Commission named Sandy Thompson raised concerns about Gideon’s obvious conflict of interest. Gideon continues to promote the nonprofit.
Town Council Meeting, Freeport Town Council, 9/14/10
That’s right - In 2010, as a Freeport Town Councilor, Sara Gideon cut police funding, then gave the money to a nonprofit she sat on the board of!