ALFRED — A former York County Jail guard who says he was bypassed for overtime shifts as retaliation by a sergeant about whom he had complained has filed a lawsuit against the county seeking lost pay and damages.

Matthew Willey of North Berwick filed the suit in York County Superior Court alleging that Sgt. Michael Seaman retaliated against him from 2011 to 2013 in violation of the Maine Human Rights Act and Maine Whistleblower Protection Act. The lawsuit filed on June 22 names only York County as a defendant, not Seaman.

The complaint, filed on Willey’s behalf by attorney Guy Loranger, does not state how much money he is seeking. Loranger did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Willey alleges in the suit that he disciplined two inmates on July 25, 2011, by placing them in lockdown only to have Seaman reverse his decision. He says the retaliation began after he complained about Seaman’s reversal to Capt. Leo Rogers.

“Sgt. Seaman’s behavior completely undermined plaintiff’s authority and created a dangerous condition by placing plaintiff’s safety at risk. The conduct also violated the code of conduct by degrading an officer as well as an abuse of power and authority,” Loranger wrote in the suit.

Willey worked for the jail from 2008 to 2014, when he resigned.

Willey was arrested on Nov. 3, 2013, while still employed there, on a misdemeanor charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He was suspended with pay while the criminal case was pending.

He had been driving on Route 111 in Arundel near the Biddeford city line when his vehicle went off the road. Biddeford police and Arundel rescue workers found him semiconscious inside the vehicle, York County Sheriff William King said at the time.

Willey pleaded guilty to the charge on March 19 and was sentenced by Justice Paul Fritzsche to a fine of $1,010 and a mandatory loss of his driver’s license for 90 days.

King declined to comment when reached by phone on Monday about the lawsuit.


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