The former marshal of Cloverdale filed a lawsuit against the town this week, claiming among other things that he was wrongly demoted to a deputy last November and was since told he would be terminated from the force altogether on March 1.
According to the complaint issued Friday by former Town Marshal Charlie Hallam and his attorney Bill Harrington, a private meeting was held Jan. 29 between Hallam, the current chief of police Don Pearson and town council president Don Sublett during which time Hallam was told he would be terminated from the force as of March 1.
This follows a November 2007 town council meeting in which town board members Sublett, Dennis Padgett and Glen Vickroy voted to demote Hallam from town marshal status to deputy status, while members John Davis and Judy Whitaker voted against.
On Jan. 15, the council voted to reduce the number of deputy marshals from it current number of three, to just two deputies.
Then came the Jan. 29 meeting in which Hallam claims he was given the notice of termination.
Hallam's attorney alleges the town violated Indiana Code and did not follow the proper procedure in terminating his client. He says the officer was entitled to go through disciplinary removal and appeals procedures through the town Safety Board.
The town's attorney Allan Yackey said the town marshal is in fact permitted to terminate deputy marshals on his own, without the consent of the Safety Board.
Hallam is seeking a permanent injunction against the town, allowing him to keep his job as deputy marshal, and monetary damages for loss of income, loss of health insurance, lost retirement benefits and loss of insurability.
Yackey called the complaint "meritless." He said he is beginning to draft his response and has 20 days to do so.