SOUTH PORTLAND — Gerard Brady, who is suing Cumberland County, Sheriff Kevin Joyce and Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon, was fired from his job as a sheriff’s deputy May 21 by Cumberland County Manager Peter Crichton.
Jonathan Goodman, Brady’s lawyer, said Crichton cited the union collective bargaining agreement and county policy by dismissing Brady after he was on medical leave for more than a year.
Brady’s lawsuit, filed in superior courts in Androscoggin and Cumberland counties, claims Joyce and Gagnon violated the Maine Whistleblower Act. Brady also filed a union grievance over his demotion from detective to deputy last year, and arbitrator John Alfano ordered him reinstated May 3.
A 34-year veteran of the department, Brady, of South Portland, was a detective for about 20 years and administered polygraphs for more than a decade until he was demoted.
He claims the demotion was retaliation by Joyce and Gagnon because Brady did not support Joyce’s 2010 campaign for sheriff and spoke up about an alleged assault by a corrections officer against an inmate at the Cumberland County Jail.
In his complaint, Brady said he had a breakdown about two weeks after his loss of rank and was unable to work. Before that, Brady said Joyce and Gagnon launched a criminal investigation about possible theft of services related to his private polygraph business and attempted to have his law enforcement certification revoked.
Goodman said he expects union representatives to contest Brady’s dismissal, and added Crichton’s decision “appears to ignore” Alfano’s decision that Brady had filed his grievance in a timely manner and should not have been dismissed because of the contract clause.