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Friday, May 6, 2016

Judge grants trial for former Cloverdale marshal

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matt Headley agreed Wednesday to hear the case of the former Cloverdale Police chief who filed suit after being told he was being eliminated from the force effective March 1.

Former Police Chief Charlie Hallam has asked the court for a preliminary injunction to allow him to stay employed as a deputy marshal on the four-man department. The town council voted last November to remove Hallam as chief, an act which the officer, though he didn't think it was fair, is not contesting.

"This lawsuit is about a sham," Hallam's attorney Bill Harrington told the judge in explaining that he believes the town violated Indiana Code when it decided to remove Hallam from the force.

Harrington said the law requires a hearing before the town safety board in order to remove an officer from the force.

The town's attorney Allan Yackey denies this is what the law says. He told the BannerGraphic the town can remove an officer for any or no reason at all.

In his written response to the lawsuit, Yackey said Hallam's removal as a police officer was classified as a reduction in force, or RIF, due to financial constraints of the department, but Hallam's attorney said his client was never told this prior to a Jan. 29 meeting in which the current police Chief Don Pearson told Hallam he would be "terminated" as of March 1.

Judge Headley told Yackey that he would have to prove the decision to let Hallam go was done in "good faith," meaning the officer wasn't booted out simply for political reasons.

But Yackey told the judge he thinks it is Hallam's responsibility to prove the town council acted in "bad faith." He denied Hallam is being let go for political reasons.

"What needs to be done is what the town is doing," Yackey said. "It's not aimed at Charlie."

Hallam's attorney Harrington pointed to a "significant amount of animosity" between members of the town council and his client in telling the judge that he believes his case can easily be proven. Harrington said he plans to call as many as 15 witnesses in the case.

Both attorneys agreed the trial could take two days to complete. The judge set aside next Monday, part of Wednesday and all of Thursday for the trial.

In the end, Hallam could keep his job with the police department and obtain monetary compensation for his legal fees and other damage related to the case or the judge could rule that the town violated no laws and Hallam will cease to be a member of the police department on March 1.

With the exception of the current police chief, Hallam is the most senior officer on the Cloverdale Police Department.

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i hope you win charlie, im tired of all the crruption in this town!

-- Posted by usmalein on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 4:32 PM

I was confident that Judge Headley would allow the case to be heard. He is a fair Judge. Charlie, please don't let anyone or anything intimidate you into backing down. Many who have worked for this Town b4this should have followed through with lawsuits and maybe the Fabulous 5 would have learned something. There have been police officers, utility workers and town personnel wrongfully discharged by this Town in years past and I hope Charlie does not back down. I know many who have been wrongfully let go in the past did not pursue action against the Town when they had every right to do so. People love a fight, that's obvious, but I am getting tired of being humiliated by the actions of the Board. People of Cloverdale shouldn't have to be embarassed by the people who are "running" it. Anyone remember what they tried with a fire dept.? Why are they always messing up a good thing. We had a good police dept. Now we have, well.... I haven't figured out a good term for it YET.

-- Posted by B4this on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 7:54 PM

i still say get rid of hallam and pearson both...that would help eliminate the budget restraints and allow a "good" chief to command the force.

-- Posted by gottokno on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 9:45 PM

Well, a congratulations is necessary for Mr. Hallam. I would have never believed his case would go this far. It certainly is not over yet. Good luck.

-- Posted by strings on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 4:41 AM

This is certainly big news, why such a quiet blog?

-- Posted by Xgamer on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 6:23 AM

WHEN are the People of Cloverdale going to put a stop to this? THANK GOD I live in Greencastle!

Good Luck Charlie!

-- Posted by CastlePirate on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 6:26 AM

One must attend the Town Board Meetings to know what is really happening and to know first hand what was really said. One can speculate all day, write untruths and think they are doing a good thing. Wrong! The Town Board of Cloverdale and Chief Pearson are not providing Security for the new Horse Arena - they are providing the extra security needed during these peak times for the CITIZENS of Cloverdale. The Horse Arena will be responsible for their own security. With the projected attendees at these events - there will be a high volumn of event goers. This will bring more demands for lodging, food, gas, etc. All of this will help the economy in this area.

-- Posted by Agent 007 on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 10:06 AM

To: GINGB (going in now good bye) I guess you should of been in court - then maybe you might understand!

-- Posted by Agent 007 on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 4:25 PM

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