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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Town attorney calls lawsuit 'frivolous'

Monday, February 18, 2008

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.

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Why would you want to be where you are not wanted?

-- Posted by rukiddenme on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 7:58 AM

The Harrington's just don't know when to give up. You would think an attorney would be smarter than this. Just in case people don't know - every time the Town of Cloverdale is sued - (Judy, John, Hallam) they use Mr or Mrs Harrington. If you have ever been a part of a RIF - it happens fast. The only mistake the Town Board and/or Chief Pearson made was giving Mr. Hallam advance notice so that he could seek new employment - they were thinking of his situation - would he have been this thoughtful??? If Mr. Hallam thinks he's that value-able to the police force - then he should not have any trouble finding a new job.

Why would you want to force yourself upon the Town when you are the weakest link.

-- Posted by Agent 007 on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 9:02 AM

why not RIF pearson too, now that's a win win situation!

-- Posted by gottokno on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 10:45 AM

I agree with the town attorney. Frivolous!!

-- Posted by captain crunch on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 9:32 PM

So now they are downsizing to two officers. Believe me two officers, with or without reserves, cannot cover the needs of the Town. The new arena will bring more people to town, and those visitors will not be confined to the arena facility. They will be everywhere. I am sure they are great folks. But why should the Town people have to suffer with lack of police enforcement. Is the Town Council just interested in the money the people will be bringing to Town. Is this more important than having proper police coverage and law enforcement in Town. Reserves for security at the arena is fine, but who is going to be covering the rest of the Town. Two offioers isn't enough, especially when we will be losing one of the best officers (and Police Chief) we have had in a long time. Would the new chief be able to pass the agility/physical requirements of a police officer if such a situation arises?

-- Posted by B4this on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 10:25 PM

Let me get this straight. 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. Why would you downsize your paid officers for volunteer officers. Why not keep the paid officer(s) slots and hire reserves to assist in other areas. It is my recollection that a few years ago, that there was a call for MORE paid officers. In reference to the reserve officers, I don't recall seeing any ads for recruitment of such. What kind of testing will they go through and background checks. The public has a right to know who and what programs you are running and see if these individuals meet the standards. Especially since the horse arena has the potential to bring in some fine numbers on any given weekend. Don't know at the moment, but, if Pearson is behind this and the board that supports him, the citizens of Cloverdale better keep a watchful eye on their government. Politic's...we are SEEING it first hand here!!!!!

-- Posted by ckenthefacts on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 10:54 PM

OK so you think we need more paid police officers. With the current financial crisis the state is in and with people defaulting on their homes and the taxes due where do you think the money will come from to pay for all of these full time officers. Just saying they make $30,000 a year is false. Add in all the benefits such as vacation, insurance, compensatory time off, etc. and that $30,000 a year looks more like $45,000 in real value if not more. Maybe the town could start another city fire department to save the community money. It just sounds like another liberal spending plan to me.

-- Posted by CdaleResident on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 2:47 AM

After learning about how the town marshall position is at the "luxury" of the town board, I find it hard to see what grounds Officer Hallam has to stand on. I don't know the Harrington's as well as Agent 007 does but I'm sure he/she has their own interpertation of what laws were violated.

It's too bad that this paper did not print another article with Hallam's detailed view.

This article almost had me sold on Yackey's response until the comment about "special events at the horse arena". The fab 5 would be better off if they would just say, "Hallam, we don't like you, you're fired". THIS, I would believe, and they could still bring up John and Judy's name if they wanted while doing so, just for added drama.

Cdaleresident, a cheaper city fire department would save the town money, but someone else has already done that. The good citizens of Cloverdale decided we need township vfd instead. Keep that idea fresh in your mind, when the town goes broke we will need new ideas like yours again.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 5:55 AM

Two officers can only put in so many hours. Reserves have some training but most of them aren't "qualified" police officers -- just someone who wants to play cop. I've seen it over the years. I worry about a major problem going down and only having reserves "on duty". The County can assist but Putnam County is a big county and I would prefer knowing that I had good law enforcement right here when I need them. Two officers cannot cover this Town 24/7. It's impossible. What would you do if you had an emergency and no officer on duty? If County or a State officer was not in the area, something serious could happen. I care about this Town and my family and friends who live here. Evidently some of you do not. If the horse arena is going to bring so much money into Town, why can't we pay our police officers - which is at least 4 officers. Law enforcement is critical and the Town needs to find the money to pay their officers. Hallam does not deserve to lose his position with this Town - when no one has grounds to dismiss him. The new chief is behind this. Someone should talk to the officers that served the Town when he was Chief the first time. Maybe you would get a wake-up call as to how he runs his department. Town Clerk can tell you the names of those full time officers. Do your homework instead of just criticizing. Hallam cares about the people. And secret meetings should be stopped. Ever heard of a quorum?

-- Posted by B4this on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 7:11 AM

And we all thought it would be better with this "new " council. Not so!

-- Posted by Blue6 on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 3:21 PM

When the political shoe is on the other foot I don't seem to remember there being such an uproar over what was done to Don Pearson.

Now I have a question to ask, since Charlie Hallam is being played up as one of the greatest things to happen to this community and shouldn't be removed from a political appointment and now RIFed, who should be RIFed? I will clarify this question, Don Pearson is not an option for your answer. He is in a political appointed position. So your choices for RIFed officers are as follows: Tim Walker or Jason Baugh. Who do you want RIFed so Charlie Hallam can keep his job? Keeping them all isn't a choice either. Three people, make a choice, tell us which one you would let go and why. You don't have to agree that any should go but let's say you are the one making the decision and you have no other choice. Who gets to stay in the life raft?

-- Posted by CdaleResident on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 5:44 PM

When I put my shoes on the feet they belong to, my circulation gets a lot better, I can walk more comfortably and read clearer. But I still can't make any sense of that last post. But what I think it meant is they needed to get rid of Hallam, because he is a meanie.

They put Hallam, Walker, and Baugh in chairs in a row. Then they pointed and said "Eeney Meanie, Miney Moe, let's can Hallam in the Banner Show",,,"If he sues us , we won't pay, we'll sue him in court another day"!

So as we all can see, it was really a difficult decision process. B4this should really think about it before you pick on local bloggers.(I got your back this time Cdale, you owe me)

-- Posted by Xgamer on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 7:14 PM

B4this isn't picking on local bloggers. I know my comments mean nothing because no one seems to see the importance of doing their homework "before this" meaning before they rehired Pearson. I still say that there was a reason Pearson left the employment of this Town the first time. Since it's a new 5, I guess they thought they were smarter than the last 5. My main point to this blog was that two officers cannot handle this Town. Something serious is going to happen and then all of you who feel that downsizing is going to save the Town money will be up a creek without an officer to respond. I don't care if you agree with me or not, but it is still my opinion that Hallam is the best officer we've had in many years. Doesn't anyone care about police protection in this Town. And where does the idea of Hallam being mean come from? I have my right to comment just as you do. I am sorry if I have interrupted your political war. I'll stay out of it for now - you can argue amongst youselves since you all seem to know more than any of the rest of us. Good luck. I hope you get your way.

-- Posted by B4this on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 9:19 PM

B4this, pardon me for throwing you off. You are obviously deeply affected by the actions against Officer Hallam. My comments are mostly satire or sarcasm, even criticism.

Having said that, read my last post again and see if you catch a whiff of my demented sense of humor, I'll wait while you read it,,,,,

You see? After reading Yackeys printed article and a certain comment of having to choose who's to go, I'm saying they might as well have picked who's "it" like we do when we play hide and seek.(I love that game)

I respect what you say about Officer Hallam and I believe most of the town likes him as well as you do and I encourage you to continue to support him.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 6:14 AM

,,""Why is the town scrambling to provide security for the new development? Isn't that a responsibility of the owners? Is the town going to provide security at our family reunion? We may be old but some of the ole geezers can get out of hand at times."",,

Right on GINGB, I was wondering what the security need was for the horse arena coming in. Does the town have the responsibility to guard the stables from rustlers? Are the cowboys coming to bust up our saloons and blast their honkytonk music from their pickups? What do they anticipate to happen with this type of crowd?

Security on the grounds is the arena's problem. We have stoplights for traffic, parking lots and roads for visitors. So I could be enlightened on what the need is for all those reserve officers.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 6:28 AM

I am not into all the politics of law enforcement. All I know is there is alot of crime in this small town. Just last week a car was stolen from a driveway in satrdust(on a main st). Cars broken into all over town, windows broken out on main street, no one to respond to store alarms or silent alarms at gas stations, etc.. And why is it the poilce (when) they do respond its a report taken over the phone? Most of the time the Greencastle Sheriff's come to make reports, humm... Maybe they could teach Cloverdale a lesson on keeping people safe.

-- Posted by lovekarma on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 8:29 AM

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