Former police chief’s bail conditions include curfew

ELLSWORTH — A Hancock County Unified Criminal Court justice granted a motion by the district attorney’s office to add a curfew and other conditions to the bail for a former Bar Harbor police chief who faces two charges of driving while intoxicated.

Justice Michael Roberts approved the unopposed motion filed Jan. 5 by Assistant District Attorney Heather Staples to amend bail conditions for Nathan Young, 54, of Bar Harbor.

Young was arrested Dec. 18 by Ellsworth police and charged with operating while under the influence (OUI) after the department received a report of an erratic driver coming into the city on Route 3 from Trenton.

A week later, he was arrested and charged with OUI for a second time. Bangor police stopped Young around 12:30 a.m. Christmas Day as he was leaving Hollywood Casino. He also was charged with violating his bail conditions.

Court documents state that Young refused to comply with a mandatory test to determine his blood alcohol content after he was arrested in Ellsworth. Under state law, a person who refuses the test has their driver’s license suspended immediately. However, due to several factors, there is often a lag between a police department making the arrest and the secretary of state’s office notifying the individual of the suspension. That may be the reason he was not charged with operating after suspension when he was arrested the second time.

In her motion, Staples wrote that she was seeking to amend Young’s bail conditions due to his second arrest.

The curfew imposed in the new conditions stipulates that Young must be at his home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending or on his way to or from a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Another change subjects Young to random search and testing for use of alcohol or illegal drugs. Bail conditions set following his first arrest stated that Young could be searched only “upon articulable suspicion.”

The third change granted by Roberts is that Young’s original bail bond amount of $500 unsecured is now $500 secured.

Young’s bail conditions that he not use or possess alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs remain in effect.

Young is scheduled to make his first appearance in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court on Feb. 21.

Young was fired as police chief in Bar Harbor in January 2014 after an investigator hired by the town concluded Young was intoxicated and acted inappropriately when two of his officers responded to a report of a person slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle parked at night in the parking lot of a closed Town Hill Market. After town councilors turned down his appeal of his dismissal, Young filed a lawsuit against the town.

Young’s claims included that he was a victim of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Maine Human Rights Act due to his alcoholism and that he was fired for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to seek treatment.

In June 2016, U.S. District Judge George Singal dismissed those claims, stating Young had failed to demonstrate that town officials considered him impaired because of his disability and had not provided the court with any “credible evidence” of retaliation. Another claim, that Young’s due process rights had been violated had been dismissed in April 2015.

Singal dismissed without prejudice Young’s claims for a Rule 80 administrative review of the town decision to fire him, that his contract had been breached, and that town councilors violated Maine’s Freedom of Access Act by holding executive sessions where he was discussed without the opportunity to attend. Singal determined these matters are best heard in state court and not federal.

Young subsequently filed a complaint alleging those claims in state court. The matter is expected to go to trial. No date has been set.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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