By Amaris Castillo
A settlement has been reached in the dispute between the town and former Police Chief Kevin Richardson over nearly $8,000.
"As a cost-effective approach, I have agreed to a $3,000 settlement with Kevin Richardson for his claim the town owed him approximately $7,000 for compensatory time accumulated during his tenure as lieutenant for the Dracut Police Department," Town Manager Jim Duggan said last week.
This past fall, Duggan had said he was looking forward to "resolving this once and for all" as both parties headed to trial on Jan. 3.
A message for Richardson's lawyer, Dennis R. Cormier, was not returned.
Last August, a court-ordered mediation in the Fifth Session courtroom of Lowell District Court failed.
"Nothing's been resolved," Duggan said at the time after leaving the courthouse. "Good-faith effort on everyone's parts."
Richardson retired in July 2016 after 34 years with the department, and was paid $21,308 for unused sick time. Two months later, the former chief demanded an additional $7,759 for unused personal days and compensatory time.
"If said payment is not received in my office on or before September 20, 2016, it is Chief Kevin Richardson's intention to file a complaint with the Massachusetts' Attorney General's Office and request the attorney general's assent to initiate a civil action..." Cormier wrote in a letter to the town dated Sept. 6, 2016.
The town refused on grounds that town bylaws do not entitle employees to payouts for unused personal days and comp time.
Chris Scott contributed to this report.
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.