PARIS, Maine — A Maine sheriff’s deputy accused of shooting off the tip of his finger while drinking off duty on St. Patrick’s Day has been fired.

Oxford County Sheriff James Theriault says Deputy Stephen Witham had been on paid leave. The county commission voted on Wednesday to uphold the sheriff’s decision to fire Witham. The sheriff says it was based on a number of policy violations.

The Sun Journal reports Witham is the only deputy trained to handle the department’s dog. The sheriff says he plans to recommend disbanding the K-9 unit for now.

A spokesman for the labor union that represents Witham has disputed the allegations against him. The spokesman says the union plans to file a grievance and take the firing to arbitration, if necessary.

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