BANGOR — A federal judge has granted former Bar Harbor police chief Nate Young’s motion to file an amended complaint in his lawsuit against the town of Bar Harbor.
Granting the motion is one of several decisions made as the result of a Dec. 3 telephone conference between U.S. Magistrate Judge John Nivision, Young’s attorney Gregg Frame and the town’s attorney, Mark Franco.
In July, Nivision granted Young a stay in the federal proceedings until the Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC) could either consider a complaint against the town or issue a “right-to-sue” letter. Right-to-sue letters are issued when the commission fails to act on complaints within 180 days of filing. The commission issued that letter to Young on Nov. 20.
Young has until Dec. 17 to file the amended complaint. The town must file a response by Jan. 7.
Because Young is to file the amended complaint, Nivision dismissed the town’s motion to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim, saying the motion is now moot.
Franco has said he expects the amended complaint to include claims Young alleged in his MHRC complaint. Young has accused the town of discrimination by failing to provide “reasonable accommodation” for his disability, including allowing him to return to work after a leave of absence for treatment of alcoholism.
Nivision also set a Jan. 7 deadline for the defendant and plaintiff to file a jointly agreeable schedule for further proceedings.
Young was fired as police chief in February following an investigation into a September 2013 incident where two Bar Harbor police officers on a well-being check found the off-duty chief in his truck in the parking lot of the Town Hill Store. An investigator hired by the town subsequently concluded that Young was intoxicated at the time and had acted inappropriately with his officers.
After being terminated by the town manager, Young appealed the decision to the town council, which upheld the decision. Young then filed a lawsuit in state court. The town countered with a successful motion to move the matter to federal court.