A federal jury on Friday awarded a Standish man $15,000 in his lawsuit against a former Waldoboro police officer who is the current chief in Wiscasset after he was arrested for alleged elder abuse of his father in 2014. The jury, however, cleared the former Waldoboro police chief of any wrongdoing.
The jury deliberated for 10½ hours at the end of a weeklong trial.
Scott M. Jordan Jr., 43, a corrections officer at the Cumberland County Jail, claimed the police wrongly assumed his ill father was the victim of elder abuse when Jordan had the power of attorney for the older man.
Jordan filed the lawsuit in November 2016 in Lincoln County Superior Court alleging that Waldoboro police misunderstood his dealings with his late father, who lived in the town, and assumed it was elder abuse.
He initially sued the town; the police department; then-Police Chief William Labombarde, 65, of Lincolnville; and three officers, including Lawrence W. Hesseltine Jr., 54, of Warren. The town, the police department and two officers were dismissed as defendants before the trial began last Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland.
Labombarde stepped down as chief in August 2018 to become the department’s school resource officer, according to the Lincoln County News. Hesseltine is now the police chief in Wiscasset.
The dispute began in July 2014 when Scott Jordan Sr. told police that his son had taken the elder man’s truck and guns and refused to return them. The younger Jordan, who at the time had power of attorney for his father, was arrested and charged with Class B theft by misapplication of property and four counts of Class B theft by unauthorized taking in November 2014. The charges were dropped Sept. 12, 2015, by the Knox County district attorney’s office two weeks after his father died at the age of 67.
Waldoboro police claimed that the younger Jordan had sold thousands of dollars of property belonging to his father, including merchandise from Jordan’s antique shop on Old Route 1, according to the Lincoln County News. Police also alleged that Jordan Jr. had listed his father’s 2003 pickup truck for sale on Craigslist.
Jordan Jr. claimed in the lawsuit that he was using the truck, which was in better shape than his own, to go back and forth from Standish to Waldoboro to work on his father’s house to ready it for sale so the elder man could move in with his son. Jordan Jr. told police that he was concerned that his father had guns in his home because he was mentally unstable and suicidal.
Jordan Jr. claimed in the lawsuit that Waldoboro police ignored his legitimate concerns for his father’s safety and instead arrested him. The arrest caused Jordan Jr. to be placed on paid administrative leave from his job for about 11 months. Bail conditions also prevented him having contact with his father, the alleged victim in the case, so Jordan Jr. was unable to see his father during the final hours of his life.