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Arbitrator reinstates Cumberland County sheriff's detective who filed whistleblower lawsuit

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Arbitrator reinstates Cumberland County sheriff's detective who filed whistleblower lawsuit

SOUTH PORTLAND — An independent arbitrator has reinstated Gerard Brady, a city resident and deputy with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, as a detective in the department.

Brady filed a union grievance against Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce, and a lawsuit in superior courts in Androscoggin and Cumberland counties against Joyce and Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon, claiming his demotion from detective violated the Maine Whistleblower Act.

Through his lawyer, Jonathan Goodman of Portland, Brady said "I did not deserve what was done to me by the County, the Sheriff, and the Chief Deputy.”

Brady, who was a detective for more than 20 years and administered polygraphs for more than a decade, said he was demoted because he spoke up about an alleged assault by a corrections officer at the Cumberland County Jail and did not support Joyce's campaign for sheriff in 2010.

In his May 3 written decision, arbitrator John Alfano said "the County’s reassignment from the detective position to patrol (was) excessive."

Alfano found Brady should be reprimanded for two policy violations, Goodman said in a news release. In one, Brady took a day off for back pain, then conducted an independent polygraph test for his private business.

He also violated county policy by delivering a private polygraph to Windham Police while on duty.

Brady accepted the reprimands, Goodman said.

“I have no issue whatsoever with Mr. Alfano’s determination that I should get a written reprimand," he said.

In the court cases, Brady accuses Joyce and Gagnon of conducting a criminal investigation regarding his private polygraph business and then seeking to have his law enforcement certification revoked when authorities would not pursue criminal charges.

Two weeks after his demotion last year, Brady said he suffered a breakdown and has not been able to return to work, according to his legal complaint.

Goodman said the lawsuits, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, remain pending.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.