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Sabattus Man Faces Disciplinary Action After Alleged Obama Threat
08/28/2013   Reported By: Susan Sharon

The chairman of the board of selectmen for the town of Sabattus has called a special meeting for Thursday night to discuss removing David Marsters from several town committees on which he serves. Marsters is the man who made national headlines this week after allegedly making a threat, and using a racial slur, against President Obama. As Susan Sharon reports, Marsters is now apologizing for the Facebook posting, which he says has been taken out of context.

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Sabattus Man Faces Disciplinary Action After Alleg Listen
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A retired law enforcement officer from Massashusetts, Marsters (right) has since taken down the Facebook posting in which he used a racial slur and suggested shooting the president. He says he made the remark out of frustration with the current administration's policies.

"I mean it just came out of my mouth, that's all. I regret it and I apologize if I hurt anybody by it. That's all," he says.

Marsters maintains that he's not a racist, that he and his wife have several African-American friends and that he doesn't normally use the n-word. In fact, he says he and his wife both voted for Barack Obama in 2008, even though both are Republicans.

"He's a Democrat and I voted for him because I thought he'd do a great job for the country, but it turned out he didn't," Marsters says. "He hasn't."

Marsters is now under investigation by the Secret Service and the Sabattus Police Department. He says he was called in for questioning yesterday, and doesn't yet know whether he'll be charged. Sabattus Police Chief Tony Ward says he was shocked that a former police officer would not understand the gravity of his alleged threat or what the ramifications would be.

"Any type of threat you take, whether it's against the president or any citizen, we have to take as if it's a real threat," Ward says. "So we take all types of threats, whether it's towards the president or anyone, very seriously."

This is not the first time David Marsters has appeared in the national spotlight. Earlier this year he put Sabattus in the headlines when he proposed requiring every household in the town of 5,000 residents to own a gun and ammunition.
Chief Ward says he's heard from several members of the law enforcement community who are embarassed by Marsters' behavior, and believe it gives their profession a black eye.

Town Manager Andrew Gilmore is also dismayed, not only about the nature of the alleged posting, but about the public image of Sabattus on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

"It's the perfect storm for a negative story that's dragging the other 5,000 residents of Sabattus through a negative light that they don't deserve," he says.

Gilmore says the town has received dozens of emails and phone calls about David Marsters in the past two days. He says residents are outraged about the alleged threat and the slur, and wondering what the town can do about it. Marsters has taken out papers to run as a selectman and told MPBN he has no plans to abandon that effort.

"There is not anything we can do to prevent him to run for selectman," Gilmore says, "and I think it's important to note I don't believe we should do anything to prevent him to run for selectman. That authority, in my belief, should remain solely with the voters, to elect who they want to elect."

One thing selectmen can do is consider whether Marsters should be removed from several committees on which he serves. Committee members serve at the pleasure of selectmen. So, on Thursday night, the board will hold a special meeting to take up the issue.

Marsters says he has not decided whether or not he'll attend. He maintains that he never personally threatened to kill President Obama and never intended to bring shame to his town.

Photo:  Susan Sharon

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