The downtown area in Searsport. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

The longtime Searsport fire chief has been suspended from the department pending the completion of an investigation, according to town officials.  

Details of Fire Chief Andrew Webster’s suspension were not forthcoming on Wednesday. Both Town Manager James Gillway and Police Chief Todd Boisvert said they couldn’t comment on the suspension or the nature of the investigation.

“It’s a personnel matter, and we have to protect the rights of the employees,” Gillway said.  

The fire department is currently under the leadership of two captains, who are serving as acting chiefs.

A phone call to Webster was not immediately returned on Wednesday. However, he told the Republican Journal that he was confident he would be reinstated and that the suspension was just protocol. He also said that the investigation had nothing to do with him.

Webster was appointed the town’s fire chief in 2012, when the previous chief resigned after facing public criticism for remarks he made in support of a controversial liquid gas terminal project that had been proposed to be built in Searsport.