Pay Dispute With Former Dracut Police Chief Can't Be Resolved
Aug 31, 2017 04:31AM
● By Bill Gilman
To some people, $7,759 might seem like a great deal of money.
To others, it might seem like a drop in the bucket.
But to the players involved in the legal dispute between the Town of Dracut and former Police Chief Kevin Richardson, that figure represents not so much a monetary value as a principle.
The town and its former chief law enforcement agent are locked in a battle over money Richardson believes he is owed for unused personal days and compensatory time. Richardson retired from the force in July 2016, after 34 years on the job, amid growing criticism about mismanagement and misconduct within the department.
At the time of his departure, Richardson was paid $21,308 for unused sick time. But he and his attorney demanded the additional $7,759 in a letter to the town dated Sept. 6, 2016.
But the town has refused that payment. Town Manager Jim Duggan has made clear the town's position that compensatory time and unused personal days are not subject to reimbursement under the town's bylaws.
It appeared the two sides might avoid a trial. According to an article appearing in the Lowell Sun, the two sides met earlier this month with a court appointed mediator. However, those talks failed to result in a settlement. As a result, the case will now go to trial.
According to the article, Duggan said that despite the failure to resolve the dispute, the mediation session was a "good faith effort" on both sides.
A trial date for the case has not yet been announced.