Settlement reached in suit by ex-Dracut police chief


DRACUT — A settlement has been reached in the dispute between the town of Dracut 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 Lt. for the Dracut Police Department,” Town Manager Jim Duggan said this 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 was left Friday for Richardson’s lawyer, Dennis R. Cormier.

Last August, a court-ordered mediation in the Fifth Session courtroom of Lowell District Court failed.

“Good faith effort. 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 police official 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 against (Town Manager Jim Duggan) and (the) Town of Dracut,” Cormier wrote in a Sept. 6, 2016 letter to the town.

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.