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June 24, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Announces Completion of Independent Inquiry

Report concludes “no wrongdoing”

Augusta- Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has received the final report of an independent inquiry into the conduct of Robert O'Connell, Jr., Director of Licensing Services at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Dunlap called for the inquiry to review O’Connell’s actions in assisting Niall Clarke in obtaining a Maine driver license. Nearly six months after obtaining a Maine driver license, Clarke used the credential as a form of ID to assist his efforts to purchase a firearm, later utilized in a robbery at a Bank of America branch in Bangor.

“This exhaustive review clears Mr. O’Connell of any wrongdoing,” said Dunlap. “He did not violate any department policies, nor any state or federal law. I am not at all surprised by the findings contained in the final report. As a result of these findings, there will be no further action related to this matter; as no policies were violated, no disciplinary measures are warranted. This has been a confidential personnel matter, and the final report will also be kept in confidence according to state personnel policy.” Dunlap also emphasized, “Had action been warranted, we would have taken it. I am completely satisfied with the work of the independent investigator who performed a very thorough review. I am pleased to see this process concluded, and am happy to return my full attention to the work of providing Maine drivers with the best and most secure credentials possible.”