Cumberland County fired a longtime detective who is suing the county and its sheriff, saying he has been out of work for more than a year.
County Manager Peter Crichton informed Gerard Brady last week that he no longer has a job with the county. Brady has been on leave for more than a year, Crichton said, and the union contract allows the county to terminate his job at that point.
Brady’s attorney, Jonathan Goodman, said the termination appears to be part of an ongoing campaign against Brady. The decision was made about a week after an arbitrator ruled that Brady should be reinstated as a detective with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.
Brady, a detective for 20 of his 34 years with the county, had been demoted to patrol deputy, which he said contributed to a mental breakdown that kept him out of work.
Brady has sued the county, Sheriff Kevin Joyce and Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon, saying he was improperly demoted. Brady says Joyce and the county retaliated against him for saying he would support another candidate for sheriff and criticizing the treatment of an inmate.
The county has said it acted against Brady because he was working on his private polygraph examiner’s business when he was supposed to be on the clock for the county. It sought to have him prosecuted and have his law enforcement certification withdrawn, Goodman said.
In a written statement, Teamsters representative Lorne Smith said: “It is disappointing that the county, rather than accepting that it was wrong in its discipline of Detective Brady, is now seeking a new way to punish him.” He said the union will challenge the termination.
Crichton said he believes the relevant portion of the union contract and the county’s administrative regulations supersede the arbitrator’s decision about reinstating Brady.
The Teamsters contract, cited by Crichton, includes a clause that says: “In no event shall the combination of paid and unpaid sick leave exceed one (1) calendar year unless such employee is deemed eligible for disability retirement sooner than one year.”
The county’s administrative regulations read: “If the employee does not return to work at the end of one year of absence, the employee will be terminated.”
David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: