Third Victim Claims Violations by State Troopers in Maine

This post was submitted via our Submit Page by Joshua Gray

On a mid-June afternoon in Portland Maine, Katherine Biermann was returning home with her son to continue celebrating his birthday. She suggested to her friend Nancy Barone they play a board game and even offered her a beverage of Orange Juice. Nancy, who was staying with Biermann as a guest, was not in a very good mood and threw the beverage to the floor. A conflict then ensued. According to Biermann’s statement to the Portland Police, Barone attacked her, pinned her to the ground and started yelling for people to call the police. Barone’s statement claimed the exact opposite. This was a case of she said, she said. When the Portland police arrived Barone refused to answer the door and insisted that Biermann do it. After a short investigation the Portland police decided to arrest Biermann and charge her with Domestic Assault.

After the humiliating experience of being arrested and spending a night is lockup, Katherine Biermann pulled herself together and began the process of proving her innocence. To complicate matter’s Biermann was a Licensed Private Investigator who knew that a conviction of assault would most likely result in the suspension or revocation of her PI license. Nancy Barone knew this as well and decided to pour salt on her “friend’s” wounds and reported the arrest to Elizabeth Pepper of the Maine State Police special licensing division. Biermann remained optimistic, believing that she did nothing wrong and trusting in the justice system. It was only a matter of weeks before Nancy Barone changed her story and the charges were finally dropped in late October of 2012. There was some indication that Barone may be mentally unstable. Katherine Biermann’s summer nightmare had come to an end and she was vindicated of all wrongdoing. Little did she know that her nightmare was only beginning and a real life horror was about to unfold.

The Maine State Police did not accept the decision of the system and decided that Katherine Biermann was guilty of assault. They ignored the rule of law and became Judge, Jury and Executioner. Maine State Police Sgt. Michael Zabarsky, during a phone conversation with Nancy Barone, stated very clearly they were not going to renew Biermann’s Private Investigator License. Barone then boasted repeatedly to Biermann what Sgt. Zabarsky had told her. Biermann retreated into depression and embarrassment and felt the pressure of the world weighing down on her. She had done nothing wrong and could not understand why her license would not be renewed.

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Katherine Biermann’s Private Investigation career began in the late 1980’s. She slowly built up a private investigation practice working with lawyers, insurance companies and anyone who would give her work. Her story is similar to many Americans who get up every morning and work hard to achieve the American Dream. By 2012 she had been in the industry for over twenty years and had a loyal client base and a steady income of more than $50,000 a year. Biermann loved what she did and worked hard for her clients. She was a good investigator that planned to remain in business for many years to come. But all that changed when several corrupt Maine State Police troopers decided to violate her Constitutional, Civil and Human rights.

 

These corrupt troopers are Sgt. Michael Zabarsky, Det. David Pelletier and Lt. Scott Ireland. They did not care that charges were dismissed, they did not care about due process or constitutional rights. It would have been so easy for them to just follow the law, however they intentionally and knowingly decided to put her out of business. They prepared the case to deny her renewal application and wrote in their report “If Biermann renewed her Professional Investigators License, the alleged conduct may provide grounds to deny her application for a Professional Investigator License and /or initiate a complaint to deny/suspend/revoke…” This quote was taken from a report written in February of 2013. This was after the charges were dropped and she was vindicated of all wrongdoing. So you have to ask, how could an innocent person be in jeopardy of having their professional license taken away from them?

Sgt. Zabarsky, Det. Pelletier and Lt. Ireland do not believe in the Constitution. They do not believe that you are innocent until proven guilty, they do not believe in the Justice system. They believe themselves to be Judge, Jury and Executioner and they readied a case to deny Katherine Biermann of her rights. Rather than subject herself to further embarrassment and possibly cause her story to end up in the news, Biermann felt pressured to not even submit a renewal application for her Private Investigator License. She was aware they had decided to not renew and did not want to have a denial on her record. These corrupt and lawless troopers had intimidated a successful female Private Investigator out of business and over $50,000 in annual income. Why did they do it?

The career of Lt. Scott Ireland, Det. David Pelletier and Sgt. Michael Zabarsky shows a history of corruption. There were internal affairs investigations, disciplinary actions, and a history of intimidating other citizens. These three troopers should have been fired from the Maine State Police a long time ago. However, laws designed to shield public officials from prosecution, and the lack of a citizen oversight committee for Maine Police corruption allegations. Have protected them and they have managed to keep their jobs and even been promoted. But the corruption may go even further. There is a possible illegal and unethical connection between Lt. Scott Ireland and Michael Harrington who owns one of the largest PI companies in Maine. Recently, Lt. Ireland nominated Mr. Harrington, a private citizen, to be the chairman of an oversight committee that regulates the PI industry in Maine. This basically means that Michael Harrington now regulates himself in a blatant display of political corruption facilitated by Lt Ireland.

Related:
Bullied by Police Over Facebook Post in Maine

I had a conversation with Katherine Biermann in August of 2016 and discussed all that happened to her. She was still very emotional and upset and confirmed the reason for not renewing her license was pressure from the “Sargent at the State Police”. I asked her specifically if she did work for Mr. Harrington and she replied that she did not remember, however did not believe she ever did. This was consistent with my theory that Mr. Harrington may be using his connection with Lt Scott Ireland to put competition out of business. I also learned that Biermann was not former law enforcement. It is well known that the majority of PI’s are former law enforcement and the Maine State Police will find any reason to deny a PI license to non-law enforcement. It seems obvious that Biermann was competition to the man who Lt Ireland appointment to the oversight committee, and she did not meet “good ole boy’ standards to even be a PI in the first place.

I learned about Biermann’s story through a freedom of information request that I submitted to the Maine State Police. Her story sent chills down my spine as I researched it and later spoke with her on the phone. I went through something similar and had my rights violated by the exact same troopers. Our stories consisted of the same ingredients; false charge, cased dismissed and these dirty cops ignoring the law. I posted my story on Facebook, YouTube and twitter and it was picked up by online blogs and shared around social media. Based on the posts, multiple other victims of the Maine State Police and these exact same troopers came forward. Private Investigator Bob Doyon of Maine was one of the people who reached out to me and his story was the same. He told me how these same troopers violated his rights. His story consisted of false allegations and these same dirty cops not following the law. In total 16 people have contacted me or I have learned about, three are now known to the public. Sixteen victims of corrupt and dirty cops. Sixteen people who had their lives interrupted for no reason. When I wrote the first article about my case, I asked the question ‘I wonder how many other victims there are?’ I never expected it would be so many.

Also read:
Maine State Police Harass & Violate Private Investigators Rights

Katherine Biermann still lives in Portland and is now a grandmother. She manages to survive on the small checks from social security and has remained unemployed for over two years. Due to the poor job market she has found it difficult to start over. She was a Private Investigator for most of her adult life and the thought of doing anything else is depressing. Biermann is the victim of dirty cops who decided to not follow the law. They decided to pick the winners and losers. The Maine State Police, by intimidating her to not renew her license and making it clear that even if she did, they would deny it, ruined Katherine Biermann’s professional career. Biermann did not want her story to go public and I debated for a long time whether to write this article. However, since I learned her story through a freedom of information request of publicly available records, I felt her story needed to be told. This corruption must end.


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Dylan Donnelly

Artist and Photojournalist from Fresno, CA Editor at Fresno People's Media & admin of Cop Block Fresno, CA Follow me on Twitter and Facebook Subscribe to my Youtube Channel