Judge rules in favor of Eliot chief in dispute over false reports
Justice John O’Neil Jr. says Chief Theodor Short’s refusal to provide evidence of misconduct by officers was justified because no report existed.
A contentious legal battle over a report allegedly showing that Eliot police officers consistently falsified their patrol reports ended abruptly Friday when a judge ruled that no such report exists.
Justice John O’Neil Jr.’s four-page order upheld the argument made a week earlier by Eliot Police Chief Theodor Short during a hearing that featured dueling testimony from the chief and his former second-in-command, Kevin Cady.
During that proceeding at York County Superior Court in Alfred, Cady testified that he presented a 60-plus-page report to the chief documenting his discovery that four of the department’s six patrol officers had repeatedly lied in their reports, claiming they had patrolled areas in town while GPS mapping data from their cruisers proved they hadn’t.
Cady said Short’s response was only to tell him he had “opened a can of worms.”
Cady also said he could not do anything further with the information because the chief failed to launch an internal affairs investigation, as required by police protocols.
O’Neil, in his ruling, said Cady’s report was incomplete, consisting of data and notes without any conclusion.
“Mr. Cady may have assumed that Chief Short did not wish for him to continue on from his preliminary findings. However, Chief Short did not order that this investigation cease,” O’Neil wrote in his ruling. “The court concludes that there never was a final investigative report of this conduct.”