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Maine substance abuse official accused of drunken driving

AVON, Maine — The associate director for treatment and recovery with the Maine Office of Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services has been charged with operating under the influence after allegedly driving drunk.

Joan Smyrski, 62, of Jefferson was arrested Sunday evening by Deputy Bradley Scovill of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and taken to the Franklin County Jail, according to jail booking information.

She was released Monday on $150 cash bail.

Smyrski also is listed on the Maine Department of Health and Human Services website as assistant director of community services for child care licensing, out of home investigations, the Maine medical marijuana program, behavioral health and substance abuse, and workforce development.

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An email message left Thursday for DHHS spokeswoman Samantha Edwards about Smyrski’s arrest was not returned, and an email to Smyrski, via her state email address was automatically returned with a statement saying she will be out of the office, starting on Tuesday, Sept. 27. No reason for the hiatus was given in the email.

Smyrski and Dr. Chris Pezzulo, DHHS medical director, are scheduled to provide an update about new opioid prescribing limits at the 2016 annual fall conference of the Maine Nurse Practitioner Association in Freeport on Nov. 12, according to the association’s website.

If convicted of drunken driving, Smyrski would face 48 hours in jail, a mandatory minimum fine of $600 and a 90-day license suspension.


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