BANGOR – Some of the claims of former police chief Nate Young in his lawsuit against the town of Bar Harbor will be decided in the courtroom.
In an April 23 U. S. District Court decision, Magistrate Judge John Nivison granted Young’s motion for a trial on the facts.
Nivison found some claims by Young could proceed to trial while also recommending other claims against the town be dismissed from the start.
The town had filed a motion to dismiss all claims.
Nivison found a court should determine Young’s claim of discrimination because of a disability as recognized by the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA). Nivison additionally ruled Young’s claim of the town violating his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act should proceed to trial.
Nivison also recommended that Young’s claims of the town’s failure to “accommodate” his disability under the ADA and MHRA be dismissed.
Young, also failed to state a valid claim that his due process rights were violated during the events leading to his firing in January 2014, Nivison ruled.
According to the judge, proceeding on the remaining counts, including the Rule 80B action and whether or not some members of the town council considered evidence outside the hearing or had their minds made up in advance, will permit the facts to be determined in open court.
In an email to the Islander, Young said he is “very pleased” that the court ruled in a manner that allows him to proceed with his case.
Young was placed on administrative leave with pay on Oct. 1, 2013, while an investigator hired by the town looked into an incident a week earlier. Bar Harbor police went to the closed Town Hill Market for a well-being check after a passer-by reported a suspicious truck parked there. Young was the sole occupant of that vehicle.
The town had an outside investigator look into the matter. While the investigation was underway, Young entered an alcohol treatment program. The investigator later concluded that Young was intoxicated when officers arrived to conduct the well-being check. Based on the investigator’s report, then-town manager Dana Reed fired Young on Jan. 22, 2014. Young’s appeal to the town council regarding his termination was unsuccessful.