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Delayed lawsuit against police officers set for trial

By Stephen Betts | Feb 23, 2021

Portland — The long-delayed civil rights lawsuit against the former police chief and a former officer of the Waldoboro Police Department is set for trial in less than six weeks.

The civil jury trial against former Waldoboro Police Chief William Labombarde and former Waldoboro Officer Lawrence Hesseltine Jr. is scheduled to begin April 5 in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Labombarde is now the school resource officer for the Waldoboro department and Hesseltine is the police chief for the nearby town of Wiscasset.

The lawsuit, initially filed in November 2016 in Lincoln County Superior Court and then moved to the U.S. District Court in Portland in 2017, stems from the department's actions that led to the arrest of Scott Jordan Jr. of Standish in November 2014 on a charge of felony theft where they alleged the victim was Jordan's father.

The trial is expected to last eight days.

According to court records, Jordan 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physical and memory problems, later complained to police that his son was improperly disposing of his belongings and rescinded the power of attorney at the end of July that year.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 even 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 the 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 the 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. The remaining counts against Labombarde and Hesseltine are claims of false arrest and unlawful search and seizure.

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

Jordan's attorneys have listed more than 50 potential witnesses to testify including officers, medical personnel and former assistant district attorney Andrew Wright. The defense has listed seven potential witnesses.

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