“It’s important to make this motion to deny the appeal of Mr. Young and to accept the decision of the town manager to terminate Mr. Young’s employment.”
“I don’t think that anything in this termination Letter holds up to what we’ve seen today.”
Nathan Young sought to appeal his removal as Bar Harbor Chief of Police. After hours spent in a formal hearing Wednesday, town council voted 5-2 to uphold his termination.
“I think it was a sham from the beginning and I’m very ashamed of the council and their vote today,” said Jeff Dobbs, a former council member.
“I thought we did a good job presenting our case,” Gregg Frame said. Frame represents former Chief Young. “I was very disappointed in the final decision.”
Allegations that Young was drunk in his vehicle one night in September and used his position to turn away responding officers lead to an independent investigation. The council heard 8 witness testimonies regarding the matter, it’s aftermath and circumstances leading up to it.
“I was on my time, I was sitting in my vehicle and I was processing my personal life and I was doing my own thing,” Young testified. “And well-being check was being called in. I was checked on, I was fine. At that point in time, as far as I’m concerned, this story ends.”
Testimonies revealed that Young had been dealing with personal issues. One of his officers, Larry Fickett, had an affair with his daughter.
This was one of the officers to respond to that wellness check in September. Both Fickett and the other officer to respond testified that they thought they did what they thought was best given the circumstances, although they admitted it was not routine.
“I think the council spent a lot of time on the record, on the written record and not a lot of time on the testimony that was in front of them, particularly from the officers and the disparities there,” Frame continued.
The split in votes indicates that this was not an easy call to make.
“Personnel issues are the hardest ones in any organization. And, you know, it’s not black and white so it was really hard,” explained Gary Friedman, Vice Chair on the council.
“There’s really no winners today,” said Susan Driscoll, attorney for Town Manager Dana Reed.
“I think the process was fair. But now this town needs to move on and heal as best it can.”