AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Commission on Wednesday denied a longtime deputy sheriff's appeal of a hiring decision that kept him from getting a job as a supervisor at the county jail.
Commissioners voted 2-1 in favor of backing Sheriff Guy Desjardins' decision to deny David Trafford's request for a corporal's job at the Androscoggin County Jail. Instead, the former sergeant with 17 years of experience in the department was hired as an entry-level corrections officer.
Trafford believes he deserved the corporal's job.
"I have an impeccable work history," he said after the afternoon meeting. "I started out in corrections, and I've managed people."
Commissioners released a five-page report at the meeting, detailing Desjardins' decision and his reasons for denying Trafford the job. Desjardins was sick Wednesday and unavailable for comment.
According to the report, Trafford was one of 12 applicants for the corporal's position. He had accrued the most union seniority and was the only applicant with command rank.
However, the sheriff weighed those assets against the fact that Trafford had not worked in the jail in 13 years. His certification as a corrections worker had lapsed.
For the past several years, Trafford had served as head of the civil division, leading the department's full- and part-time process servers. He was looking for a change when the corporal's job became available in the jail.
Trafford also serves as president of the department's largest labor union, representing more than 70 workers.
Commissioners Jonathan LaBonte and Chairman Randall Greenwood voted to deny Trafford's grievance. Commissioner Helen Makas voted against the move, saying her own reading of the union contract seemed to back Trafford.
Makas also declined to sign the commission's report.