AUGUSTA, Maine -- In the wake of a federal prostitution case involving a former Kittery town official, the Maine attorney general's office is undertaking an unspecified investigation sought by the Kittery Town Council.
''We're not talking about exactly what the topic is," Chuck Dow, a spokesman for Attorney General Steve Rowe, said yesterday. ''At the council's request, we're going to investigate."
The Portsmouth Herald reported yesterday that the town council asked for an inquiry into connections between the Danish Health Club and town employees.
Town Council chairwoman Ann Grinnell told the newspaper that when she and other town officials met with Rowe on Tuesday in Augusta, they asked him to ''look at the things that came up" in the case of Kittery attorney Gary Reiner, ''to put a spotlight on some of our town employees and some town officials -- how did that [the club] survive for all those years in this town?"
The newspaper reported that she said the Kittery group did not specify the scope of the probe.
''We couldn't give him a narrow path to go down. We told him to do what he saw fit," she said. ''We told him that residents were quite upset and we need his help."
Police Chief Edward Strong said he had been notified of the investigation and was pleased that it was underway.
''I welcome the investigation. There's been all sorts of misinformation out there. Maybe the true information will get out and clear up the reputation of the Kittery Police Department," he told the newspaper.
On Sept. 30, a federal jury in Portland found Reiner, 54, guilty on all counts in a prostitution and money-laundering trial.
Reiner was accused of operating a brothel and conspiring to launder millions of dollars in profits it generated.
The jury deliberated for three hours before handing down its guilty verdict in US District Court.
Reiner, former chairman of the Kittery Town Council, faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
Prosecutors alleged that Reiner ran a massage parlor where women were brought in from out of state to work as prostitutes.
His lawyers argued that Reiner acted only as an attorney for the club.