Lt. Thomas Pickering of the Maine State Police confirmed Champions’ suspension to the Press Herald, the same news company that brought the tweets to light.
“I can confirm that Director Champion has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending a review that is being conducted by the Bureau of Human Resources,” Pickering said. “Given that this is an ongoing, personnel-related matter, the department is unable to comment further.”
The first of two now-deleted tweets in question was posted on May 6. Using his account with the handle @EDRegulator, Champion said that if the word “ladies” is now considered unprofessional, it would be better replaced with “b-----s.”
“While waiting for my truck to be serviced I’m looking for the answer to a recent comment to me stating that the description “Ladies” meaning more than one female is not professional or appropriate,” tweeted Champion. “In this day and age I guess ‘B-----s’ is better.”
Eight days later, Champion, who has only 62 followers on Twitter—one of which is the Maine Gambling Control Unit—made a snide remark about a white nationalist group’s march. The thinly-veiled comment appeared to mock the Black Lives Matter movement and protests that occurred largely after the death of George Floyd.
“At least [the white nationalist group is] not burning down cities and looting stores,” Champion tweeted in reply to a video of the Patriot Front marching through Washington D.C.
There is no expected timetable for Champion to return to his office.