August 04, 2020

Former police officer seeks selectman post

MOUNT DESERT – A former police officer who quit abruptly in September after being passed over for the job of police chief is running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.

Jason Lovejoy has returned his nomination papers to the town office, a clerk confirmed Tuesday, and his name will be placed on the March 1 municipal election ballot.

Lovejoy won a grievance against Town Manager Michael MacDonald last fall after MacDonald downgraded his police rank from lieutenant to sergeant.

The manager, who was hired in October 2001, had wanted to reorganize the Police Department when he learned that the department employed a lieutenant, which supervises sergeants, without having a sergeant.

When Lovejoy failed to make the final cut in September he blamed his grievance win over MacDonald as the primary reason for his elimination from the competition.

He also complained that he had been discriminated against because MacDonald had raised two issues during his formal interview for the job that he said were irrelevant: the fact that Lovejoy held a part-time job at a town restaurant and that he was living for free in Pretty Marsh village in exchange for watching a seasonal homeowner’s residence and property.

A five-person search committee appointed by the town manager, which included a police chief from off Mount Desert Island, screened the candidates and selected finalists for MacDonald to interview.

Lovejoy, who was working as acting police chief, resigned the day he heard he did not make the cut. He offered to return to the department if he were named police chief.

A day after Lovejoy’s sudden departure, two petitions began circulating in town: one asking that Lovejoy be appointed police chief and another calling for MacDonald to be fired.

Neither petition gained any momentum.

Lovejoy, who was with the department for 12 years, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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