Ousted police chief seeks “real truth” behind termination



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Nate Young

BANGOR — Two recent filings in U.S. District Court have been added to the growing pile of documents generated in the lawsuit against the town of Bar Harbor by fired police chief Nate Young.

On Feb. 5, Young’s attorney, Gregg Frame, filed an opposition to the town’s motion to dismiss four counts cited in Young’s amended complaint. The next day, Feb. 6, the town’s attorney, Mark Franco, filed an objection to Young’s motion for a trial on the facts of the case.

According to Young’s objection, the town’s motion to dismiss “demonstrates yet another attempt to deny Chief Young the opportunity to uncover the real truth as to why he was terminated as chief of police after a 23-year tenure and perfect record.”

For more than one year, the town has made “every attempt to conceal their improper actions from Chief Young,” the motion continues. As an example, Young cites his claims the town council held multiple “secret meetings” to discuss his employment in violation of the state Freedom of Access Act.

Young further argues that his amended complaint included facts “which show he was denied due process” during the process leading to his firing in January 2014 and the subsequent decision by town councilors to uphold Young’s termination by the town manager.

In addition, Young claims that town officials knew of his alcoholism before the September 2013 incident that eventually led to his firing, and that the town “failed to offer him any reasonable accommodations, such as an employee assistance program or leave of absence.” Young was “ultimately terminated in retaliation for his disability” after he exercised his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act to seek treatment for alcoholism, the document states. Young already was under suspension when he sought treatment.

For these reasons, Young states, the town’s motion to dismiss should be denied.

Young, in his amended complaint against the town, is asking the court for a Rule 80B review of his appeal of his firing to the town council. Rule 80B of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure does allow for a trial on the facts and the introduction of new evidence. However, in the town’s objection to the trial on facts, Franco notes that the rule is not “a vehicle to allow the reviewing court to retry the facts that were tried before the municipal body.”

Young, in his argument, has failed to present any firsthand “evidence of bias or bad faith sufficient to justify a trial on the facts,” Franco writes.

The town is asking the court to not rule on the trial-on-facts question until it issues a decision on the town’s motion to dismiss. When that happens, the town is requesting the court deny Young’s Rule 80B appeal.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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