Editor's Note: Check back with Middletown Patch Saturday for an interview with Attorney Leon Rosenblatt.
The civil suit filed by the former acting chief of police against the city for unlawful termination has been dismissed in court, the mayor announced Friday.
On Oct. 24, Judge Edward S. Domnarski dismissed the lawsuit filed on Nov. 17, 2011, in Middletown Superior Court by Patrick T. McMahon, who was fired Feb. 23 by Mayor Dan Drew after a Loudermill hearing on charges he consumed alcohol while wearing his gun and badge.
"I'm pleased with the judge's ruling. I think it's an accurate interpretation, it's fair and I think the city has acted in good faith in this case," Drew said Friday. "We went through the appropriate due process in this case when he was terminated and we're looking forward to moving ahead and continue the positive momentum the department has had under Chief Bill McKenna."
The summary judgment ruling agreed with the city's position that acting chiefs of police "have no statutory protection and agreed he had ample protection in his position as deputy chief," the court document states.
McMahon's lawsuit argued he was the city's duly authorized chief and that he could not be removed from that position without a hearing, the document continues. The court held that McMahon's position was inconsistent with legislative intent and illogical.
Giving legal protection, it continued, to "acting chiefs" such as McMahon would place "a virtual road block to municipalities filling a vacant chief's position on a temporary basis," terming that an "odd and illogical result which must be avoided."
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- UPDATE: Mayor Fires Deputy Police Chief
- City Seeks to Terminate Former Acting Police Chief
- Former Acting Chief McMahon Meets With Investigator
- Patrick McMahon Loses Bid To Become Chief
- Democrats Charge Mayor With Condoning Police Chief's Misconduct