Fired Bar Harbor police chief’s appeal hearing before town council will be public

Posted Feb. 24, 2014, at 3:23 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 24, 2014, at 4:50 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — It won’t quite be a courtroom, but Bar Harbor’s former police chief and its town manager will get their chance to present arguments over the chief’s termination to the town council this week.

Nathan Young’s appeal of his firing will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the municipal building on Cottage Street. At Young’s request, the appeal hearing is expected to be held in public session.

Personnel matters usually are discussed by elected bodies in executive session, except for when the employee who is the subject of the matter requests that it be made public.

Young’s attorney, Gregg Frame of Portland, on Monday confirmed the time and public status of the hearing.

“I think it’s really important the veil of secrecy be lifted here,” Frame said.

Young was fired from the job last month after serving with the local police department for 30 years, 23 of them as chief. When he was fired, he had been on paid administrative leave since Oct. 1 of last year.

Young did not return a voicemail message left for him Monday afternoon.

Citing the confidential nature of personnel deliberations, Reed has declined to comment about Young’s firing.

Young has been vocal about his situation, however, and has been highly critical of the way he says Reed handled it.

Young admits that he was involved in a Sept. 25 incident in the local village of Town Hill, but he denies having done anything wrong.

Young has acknowledged to being an alcoholic and has received treatment for it this past fall, but he says he had not been drinking when local police officers checked on his well-being while he was sitting in his pickup truck outside a local business. Young says his alcoholism has never affected his job performance.

In Young’s absence, the police department has been overseen by James Willis, who has been splitting his time between Bar Harbor and his job as police chief in the neighboring town of Mount Desert.

Contacted Monday by email, Reed indicated that Willis will continue serving as interim police chief in Bar Harbor “until further notice.” He added that the town has not yet advertised that it is seeking applicants for the police chief job.

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