Appeals court sides with Camden in long legal battle

By Stephen Betts | Jul 06, 2018

Boston — Camden has won the latest round in a lengthy legal battle with a former police dispatcher.

The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling June 25 in the appeal filed on behalf of Alan Clukey of Belmont. The federal appeals court in Boston affirmed the jury verdict from a trial held in July 2016 in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Clukey's attorney, David Glasser, of Camden, said Friday, July 6 that he and his client are mulling the options which includes asking the full appeals court in Boston to hear the appeal because the ruling was in contradiction to other appeals court rulings.

Clukey had been a dispatcher for the town from 1976 until he was laid off in June 2007, when the town shifted its dispatch services to Knox County. He argued that, as senior dispatcher, he should have been offered openings in the Camden Police Department when they occurred. In the 12 months after he was laid off, however, he was not hired to fill openings for a parking enforcement officer or an administrative position.

The case ended up revolving around a clause in the police labor contract that required workers who were laid off to provide the town manager with their mailing address and telephone number if they wanted to be included on a recall list.

Clukey had contended that the town already had that information in his personnel file, but it passed over him for job openings.

Clukey filed the federal lawsuit in October 2011. He sought compensation in the civil rights lawsuit for the failure of the town to offer him positions.

This was the third appeal to the First Circuit. The first two ended with rulings in Clukey's favor. The repeated appeals have made this case one of the oldest active cases in the northern New England region.

The most recent appeal was based on the contention that the federal trial judge's instructions to the jurors were in error.

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