View of Penobscot Avenue in Millinocket. The three neighboring towns of Millinocket, East Millinocket and Medway had a COVID-19 outbreak after a wedding reception took place in the area on Aug. 7. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

The Millinocket Town Council is poised to terminate the contract of interim town manager Annette Padilla, about four months after it voted to fire the previous town manager.

Padilla became interim town manager after the council voted 6-1 to fire former town manager John Davis in late September. The council ended Davis’ contract after he dismissed a harassment complaint against then-Police Chief Craig Worster.

Padilla then fired the police chief in December. Millinocket disbanded its police department shortly after, signing a contract for policing services with neighboring East Millinocket. Worster appealed his firing to the Millinocket Personnel Board, which is expected to decide on his appeal Friday.

On Thursday, the council is expected to vote on hiring Millinocket Code Enforcement Officer Richard Angotti to replace Padilla as the town’s interim town manager, according to a tentative agenda for Thursday’s meeting.

Council chair Steve Golieb, with the knowledge of the council, gave Padilla a 30-day notice of the termination of her contract, which was effective Monday, according to the agenda. The council will vote Thursday whether to finalize the termination.

“Dr. Padilla was certainly helpful walking into a very difficult situation with the town, and we’re certainly appreciative of that,” Golieb said Wednesday. “But for where we are at right now, and moving forward with the full-time manager search, we feel that having someone with institutional knowledge is what will serve the town best.”

Padilla declined to comment.

Her apparent termination comes after Worster and Davis filed a notice of claim announcing their intention to sue the town and others. They allege they were defamed due to the release of records that detailed claims Worster sexually harassed female coworkers at a previous place of employment. A notice of claim is the first step in filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. Worster and Davis have not yet filed a lawsuit.

Davis had been under fire over the hiring of Worster in 2019 and accusations that Worster had created a hostile work environment in his time leading the Millinocket Police Department.

In her introductory Facebook post to the town in October, Padilla said she grew up in California and holds a PhD in public policy, administration, nonprofit leadership and management.