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Maine

State Won’t Renew Teaching Credential For Former Lawmaker Accused Of Misconduct With Students

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Ashley L. Conti
/
Bangor Daily News
Former Rep. Dillon Bates, D-Westbrook, watches as votes come in during the House of Representatives vote on the state budget at the Maine State House in Augusta in this 2017 file photo.

State officials have refused to renew a education credential for a former Westbrook lawmaker, following allegations of sexual misconduct with female students.Last Friday, the Maine Department of Education declined to reissue Dillon Bates a clearance required of school employees, citing a law against “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

Bates, a Democrat who had represented House District 35, resigned his seat in August after initially refusing bipartisan calls for him to leave office in response to reported allegations that he had relationships with high school girls while teaching and coaching in Maine schools during the past decade.

In his resignation letter, Bates called the allegations “baseless and false” and wrote that “in my time away from the Legislature, I plan to focus on clearing my name.”

The allegations were published in The Bollard, a Portland monthly newspaper, which did not name any of the girls and quoted one alleged victim.

Bates and his lawyer, Walter McKee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday about the state education department declining to renew his “criminal history record check clearance.”

Bates was a teacher at the now-shuttered Maine Girls Academy in Portland through April and he had coached sports at several schools — most recently serving as a track and field coach at Massabesic High School in Waterboro. He informed the school that he wouldn’t return to that job and he said earlier this year that he wouldn’t run for re-election.

BDN writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.

This story appears through a media sharing agreement with Bangor Daily News.