A suit filed against the town of Camden by a former employee who claimed the town violated his constitutional rights was recommended for dismissal this month by a U.S. District Court judge.

In early October, former Camden dispatcher Alan Clukey, along with his wife, Dera, said in the suit that the town failed to rehire him and provide due process after he was laid off during a restructuring of its emergency dispatch service.

On Feb. 15, Judge John Rich III dismissed two federal counts against the town, and by default, the two state-law counts also cited in the complaint were dismissed.

Clukey, along with two other Camden dispatch employees, was relieved of his job when the town began contracting dispatch services with the Knox County Regional Communications Center in Rockland. On June 13, 2007, Camden voters decided to discontinue the town’s own emergency dispatch service and join the rest of the county at the central communications center.

Clukey had been employed by Camden from April 1976 through June 2007 with the Camden Police Department.

Clukey was a member of the Camden Police Benevolent Association, a labor union. At the point when his position was eliminated, the terms of his employment fell under an agreement between Camden and the association that was in effect through June 30, 2008. Following Clukey’s termination, there were one or more vacancies within the Camden Police Department, as well as in other town departments. He said in his suit that the labor contract stipulated he was to have been recalled to vacant positions in town government.

“As a result of the town’s failure to have recalled Alan Clukey to employment, he has been forced to engage in less profitable and productive employment,” according to Clukey’s lawsuit, filed Oct. 4.

But the town argued that Clukey’s claim that his constitutional right to substantive due process failed to show a deprivation of a protected interest in life, liberty or property. “It is not enough to claim the governmental action shocked the conscience,” the town said, in its motion to dismiss.

Judge Rich said in his decision: “This court has said repeatedly that employment disputes do not implicate substantive due process protection under the Constitution.” He said such claims generally have to do with matters relating to marriage, family, procreation and the right to bodily, rather than property or employment, issues.

The collective bargaining agreement was the property interest cited in Clukey’s case, and it was not created by the Constitution, the judge said. The allegations, including the “shock the conscience” question, did not reach the standard, Rich said.

Clukey also said Camden violated his federally protected constitutional right to procedural due process of law by terminating his contractual employment recall rights without notice and an opportunity to be heard. The judge dismissed that count, however, citing federal labor law and arbitration rules.

The last two complaints filed by the Clukeys were state law claims, Judge Rich said, and were subsequently voided, given that he had dismissed the first two federal counts.

Those two state law claims said Camden misrepresented itself to Clukey that it would honor his recall rights in his employment contract, and that the conduct of the town of Camden caused Dera Clukey to lose the comfort and companionship of her husband, the result of which she had been damaged.