Fired for affairs, lying, Sanford officer files lawsuit

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SANFORD (AP) – A former major in the Sanford Police Department filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s decision to fire him for allegedly having multiple extramarital affairs and lying about his actions.

Lyndon Abbott of Waterboro, a 22-year police veteran, was fired Dec. 14 for alleged conduct unbecoming an officer.

In a 22-page complaint filed Tuesday in York County Superior Court, Abbot claims that Town Manager Mark Green and others conspired to have him fired because they disapproved of his personal life and relationships. Abbott alleges that he was fired without just cause in violation of the Sanford Town Charter and the city’s personnel policies.

Abbott is seeking damages, punitive damages for alleged malicious conduct and attorney fees.

Green said he wasn’t surprised by the lawsuit.

“I feel really good about the process we used and I’m absolutely confident we did the best thing for the town,” he said.

At the time of his dismissal, Abbott was the second-ranking officer in the department, in charge of operations and overseeing the patrol division and detectives. His salary in 2004 was $64,887.

He was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 10 and later dismissed after an internal investigation and hearing.

The lawsuit claims that the three-day hearing conducted by Green was a sham and that Green had already decided to fire Abbott. During the hearing, Abbott asked Green to recuse himself.

It also alleges that after the internal investigation was completed, but before the hearing was held, Police Chief Thomas Jones recommended that Abbott be fired, even though the town’s personnel policy calls for progressive steps of discipline.

The complaint says that the Sanford Police Department has no rules, regulations or operating procedures regarding extramarital affairs.



Information from: Journal Tribune, http://www.journaltribune.com

AP-ES-01-10-07 1318EST

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