May 15, 2013

Demoted Cumberland County sheriff 's deputy reinstated to detective

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A Cumberland County Sheriff's deputy has been reinstated to his position as detective after an independent arbitrator ruled that the county’s disciplinary action against him in 2012 was excessive.

Gerard Brady was disciplined last year for alleged violations of department policies and his outside employment agreement. The county claimed that Brady improperly directed clients to his private polygraph business and also that he conducted private business while on duty for the sheriff’s department.

According to Brady’s attorney, Jonathan Goodman, the county initially sought to prosecute the deputy on felony charges but the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office and the Maine Attorney General’s Office declined to pursue the case. The allegations against Brady were then forwarded to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, Goodman said, to see if Brady’s actions merited the revocation of his law enforcement certification. The academy rejected the case as well.

Brady was then demoted by Sheriff Kevin Joyce from detective to patrol deputy. Brady filed a grievance, which was denied, and then filed to have an outside arbitrator weigh in. That arbitrator, John Alfano, did find that Brady committed two minor policy violations but ultimately ruled that the county did not have just cause to demote him.

The violations were that he conducted a private polygraph during a day he had taken off from work because of a recurring lower-back problem, and that he dropped off a private polygraph report in Windham while he was on duty in the area. However, weighed against Brady’s 34 years of employment and 20 years as a detective in good standing, Alfano said the demotion was “excessive.”

Brady has not commented on the case, but he issued a statement Wednesday through his attorney.

“I have no issue whatsoever with Mr. Alfano’s determination that I should get a written reprimand,” he said. “It has been my position since day one that I deserved a written reprimand. I did not deserve what was done to me by the county, the sheriff and the chief deputy.”

Brady also has filed a lawsuit against the county claiming that he was retaliated against for complaining about an alleged assault on a county jail inmate and for saying that he would support an opponent of Joyce for sheriff. That suit, filed in early April, is pending.

A call to Joyce on Wednesday was not immediately returned.

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