A lawsuit by the former town marshal of Cloverdale, which says he was wrongfully demoted last November and subsequently told he will be terminated from the force, was dismissed as frivolous by the town's attorney this week.
In papers filed with Putnam Circuit Court on Friday, Cloverdale town attorney Allan Yackey says former town Marshal Charlie Hallam's lawsuit against the town is a misinterpretation of Indiana Code and lacks the proof necessary to collect damages.
Among several allegations, Hallam claims the town council violated state law when it voted in November of last year to demote him from town marshal to deputy marshal.
The town, through its attorney, is claiming it has full legal authority to demote the town marshal for any, or no, reason.
Secondly, Hallam is claiming code violations regarding a Jan. 29 meeting between he and current town Marshal Don Pearson, during which time Pearson told Hallam he would be terminated from the force as of March 1.
The town's attorney says Hallam misused the word "termination" in his lawsuit and in fact is being laid off as part of a "RIF" or reduction in force.
Yackey says the town made the decision to reduce its number of deputy marshals from three officer to two in order to reduce costs and prepare for the opening of the Crossroads Horse Arena, which is expected to bring as many as 6,000 people to the town for special events.
Yackey says the town decided to reduce the number of full-time officers in order to hire more reserve officers to help out with special events at the horse arena.
Hallam says, in his lawsuit, that in order for him to be "terminated" from the force, he is allowed a hearing before the town safety board, or town council.
Yackey, on the other hand, says Hallam is only allowed a hearing with the safety board if there are allegations of misconduct or wrongdoing on his part. Yackey says Hallam was not accused of any wrongdoing and that his removal from the force on March 1 is simply a layoff to reduce the size of the department.
Hallam is seeking financial relief for damages caused by his demotion and subsequent layoff from the force. He is also seeking compensation for legal fees from his attorney Bill Harrington of Danville. He is also seeking an injunction against the town to allow him to keep his job on the police force.
Yackey, in response, is asking the court to deny Hallam's request for an injunction and denial of his claims for financial compensation. He is countering for legal fees for the town.
The case will be heard in Putnam Circuit Court on Wednesday.