TOWNSEND — Randy Girard, a former sergeant for the Police Department, is now suing the town and Administrator James Kreidler for allegedly denying civil rights and interfering with his job.
According to the complaint filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on March 1, Girard claims that Kreidler and the Board of Selectmen created a hostile work environment, prevented him from collecting work payment and essentially forced him to resign from his position. Girard was first hired by the Fire Department in December 1989 before joining the Police Department in December 1993.
According to the complaint, Kreidler tried to manage the entire Police Department in violation of Massachusetts General Law. Girard appeared at a Board of Selectmen meeting in November 2015 with the alleged intent of intimidating Gordon Clark, who was a selectmen at the time.
Girard was then at a public hearing on Aug. 30, 2016, when the board considered whether or not he should receive benefits from the town after suffering a severe ankle injury on June 11 that year and had to miss work. Kreidler allegedly became “visibly irate” by leaning toward Girard and telling him to “go ahead and stare … come on, you want to go there … stare at me, go ahead!”
Carolyn Smart, currently Kreidler’s executive assistant and former selectman, asked the administrator to leave the room. Girard was granted pay benefits and workers compensation, though Kreidler supposedly said during the hearing, “If it was up to me, (Girard) would not be given any benefits,” and told Girard directly, “This isn’t over.”
Girard claims that Kreidler or someone hired by Kreidler gained accessed to his office computer and rearranged his desktop without his permission in the fall of 2016 as a means on intimidation. At the time, Girard was one of four Police Department employees under investigation for allegedly conducting unlawful background checks on two people. The lawsuit claims that Kreidler knew Girard hadn’t misused the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Information System to perform the background checks despite making public claims to the contrary.
Girard attended a interview at Town Hall with town counsel on Dec. 15, 2016, though he was instead met by Kreidler. The then-sergeant received a letter signed by Kreidler stating that the Board of Selectmen voted two days earlier to place him on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Kreidler then allegedly told Girard that if he didn’t resign from the Police Department, Kreidler would alert the Attorney General’s Office of the accusations against Girard, which would have lead to criminal charges. Girard felt “threatened and coerced” by Kreidler and therefore signed an Employment Settlement Agreement and Release of All Claims on Dec. 22, 2016.
Girard claims that he never received an agreed-upon settlement from the town. Despite Kreidler supposedly telling Girard that there would be no “negative press releases” issued about the settlement, press releases were issued shortly after his resignation regarding the investigation.
Kreidler said on Friday that he had “not yet been served nor yet seen the complaint” filed against him and the town. Girard was not able to be reached for comment.