WALDOBORO — A federal jury awarded a man $15,000 in damages July 23, after determining former Waldoboro Police Officer Lawrence W. Hesseltine Jr. conducted an illegal search and falsely arrested the subject.

The jury deliberated for 10 hours July 23 before reaching its verdict in the case that centers on a November 2014 arrest.

Hesseltine is now the police chief in nearby Wiscasset.

The trial began July 14 and ended July 23.

The civil lawsuit was filed initially in November 2016 by Scott Jordan Jr. of Standish, then moved to U.S. District Court in Portland in 2017. Former Waldoboro Police Chief William Labombarde was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit but the jury ruled July 23 that he was not liable in his supervisory capacity for the illegal search or false arrest.

The case stems from the arrest of Jordan in November 2014 on a charge of felony theft in which the alleged the victim was Jordan’s father.

According to court records, Jordan Jr. received power of attorney in May 2014 for his father Scott Jordan Sr., who lived in Waldoboro. His father, who was suffering from physical and memory problems, later complained to police that his son was improperly disposing his belongings and rescinded the power of attorney at the end of July that year.

But the investigation by Waldoboro police also found the father initiated the effort for his son to serve as power of attorney, and that the father’s lawyer drew up the paperwork. Police talked with the elder Jordan’s sister, who confirmed the father wanted such an arrangement.

When police initially questioned the son, he said he removed firearms from his father’s residence because of a concern that his father was suicidal. The younger Jordan offered to give the guns to the police, but officers said they would have no legal right to keep them.

When Hesseltine went to a judge to get a search warrant for the Standish man’s home, he did not include information about the origin of the power of attorney, nor the offer to turn over the guns, according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of the younger Jordan.

When officers executed the search warrant at the younger Jordan’s home in Standish November 2014, they seized the weapons and arrested Jordan for felony theft. The theft was classified as a felony because the alleged theft involved firearms. The arrest occurred as he was trying to take his young daughter to school.

Jordan was indicted by a grand jury in Lincoln County in March 2015.

The father died Sept. 1, 2015, and the district attorney’s office dismissed the case a few weeks later.

Jordan then filed the civil lawsuit in 2016. He pointed out the action of the officers severely damaged his reputation. Jordan was also suspended from his job as a lieutenant at the Cumberland County Jail, and lost his health insurance for a period of time. He was later reinstated.

Issues related to the lawsuit were appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. The town of Waldoboro was dropped as a defendant by court rulings, as were two other officers.

Jordan is represented by attorneys Amy Fairfield of Lyman and Karen Wolfram of Kennebunk. Hesseltine and Labombarde are represented by attorneys Edward Benjamin Jr. and Kasia Park of Portland.

When asked about the jury trial and if he plans to appeal, Benjamin said, “I would think not. Not only did the jury award only $15,000 in total, but getting a jury verdict vacated on appeal is like moving heaven and earth. Our system is designed so the jury gets the final say in disputed cases, not the appellate judges; so great deference is given to their decision. I fully expect this is the end.”