Rockland disputes council candidate’s claim that he was targeted, coerced into settlement

Posted Oct. 08, 2012, at 1:29 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 08, 2012, at 7:52 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Rockland is disputing a claim that it targeted Harold Dale Hayward Jr. and his wife for selective enforcement of code regulations. The city’s attorney also has asked the court to dismiss the Haywards’ appeal of a consent judgment the couple agreed to more than four months ago.

Rockland City Attorney Kevin Beal filed Friday in Rockland District Court a response to the appeal filed Oct. 1 by Dale and Geraldine Hayward.

The Haywards claimed they were coerced into signing a consent order May 24 by both the city and their own attorney. The Haywards also claim the city targeted them for enforcement because Dale Hayward spoke out at a council meeting.

The city had filed a land-use complaint against the Haywards in April, stating that they erected a fabric structure without a permit and stored items for resale at flea markets which is not allowed in their residential zone.

The city attorney disputed the Haywards’ claims of selective enforcement.

“Rockland’s code enforcement officials issue dozens of notices of violation each year, for violations of the city’s various property maintenance, life safety, and other codes, and for zoning violations. Nearly all such violations are resolved without resort to litigation, when the property owners evidence intent to comply,” the city attorney’s response stated.

Beal notes that the Haywards do not deny that they violated the city’s requirements. They allege that only they were targeted among numerous other violators in Rockland.

“This is simply not true, and prior to the filing of both the city’s Rule 80K action, and the defendants appeal, Code Enforcement Officer John Rooy described to defendant Dale Hayward, in detail and with supporting documentation, the extensive code enforcement efforts of his office.”

The city attorney also disputed Hayward’s claim that he failed to receive adequate assistance from his attorney when the consent agreement was being developed.

“Attorney (William) Maddox is an experienced attorney and litigator, and negotiated with the city (1) a settlement, reflected in the consent judgment, that included deadlines far more generous than those sought by the city,” the city’s response stated.

The city also noted that Maddox saved the Haywards potentially thousands of dollars because the couple had been cited months earlier for their violations but Maddox was able to work out an agreement with the city where there were no penalties.

The consent agreement, approved by Judge Patricia Worth, and signed by Beal and the Haywards, called for the fabric structure to be removed by Sept. 30 and for the Haywards to repay the city the cost of filing the lawsuit. The structure remains in place, and the $181 in costs owed to the city has not been repaid after the deadlines agreed to by both sides.

Dale Hayward is one of three candidates running for the Rockland City Council. He is challenging Mayor Brian Harden and fellow challenger Frank Isganitis.

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