Leonard Leo’s house in Northeast Harbor. Mount Desert Islander photo by Dick Broom

A Bar Harbor man has agreed this week to settle a lawsuit against two police officers for arresting him at a political demonstration last year outside the home of conservative legal activist Leonard Leo, according to court filings.

Eli Durand-McDonnell filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Bangor in July, roughly a year after his 2022 arrest on a disorderly conduct charge. He was one of dozens of people who had gathered outside Leo’s summer home in Northeast Harbor in July 2022 to protest after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade that summer. The criminal charges were dropped in May.

Leo, a nationally recognized conservative activist, used his influence and wealth to help create a more conservative Supreme Court.

Though Durand-McDonnell’s lawsuit did not name Leo as a defendant, he alleged Leo used officers from the Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island Police Department to single him out, even though Durand-McDonnell said he was protesting peacefully. Durand-McDonnell alleged in the lawsuit that the officers, Kevin Edgecomb and Nathan Formby, violated his First Amendment right to free speech and his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

Durand-McDonnell had asked for a jury trial – but after a settlement conference with the officers on Wednesday, federal court records show he agreed to settle and drop the case.

His attorney, Matthew Morgan, did not respond to an email Friday afternoon asking for more information about the terms of the settlement and to speak with his client.


Kasia Park, who represented Edgecomb and Formby, wrote in an email Friday that all parties believed “it was in their best interests to resolve this case without protracted litigation.” Park said neither she nor her clients would discuss what the settlement entailed.

In a September response to the lawsuit, the officers said they were acting in good faith, that they were protected under qualified immunity and that they never violated any of Durand-McDonnell’s “clearly established rights.”

A spokesperson for Leo said Friday that he was away at a conference and unable to comment.

Edgecomb and Formby were sent to Leo’s home on July 31, 2022, after Leo’s private security officer called their department to complain about protesters outside, according to court records.

Much of Durand-McDonnell’s complaint directly quotes recordings from a microphone Edgecomb was wearing while he was inside Leo’s house.

After Leo told the officers that Durand-McDonnell had shouted obscenities at him and his family earlier that afternoon from a moving vehicle, which police didn’t witness, Edgecomb criticized protesters and their beliefs, Durand-McDonnell’s complaint states.

“Even some of the stuff I heard them say is, you know, it’s like really, guys?” Edgecomb told Leo, referring to protests he witnessed outside Leo’s home in 2019, when Leo was fundraising for Sen. Susan Collins after her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

At another point, Edgecomb told Leo he planned to arrest Durand-McDonnell and that his bail conditions would bar him from coming near Leo’s address at 46 South Shore Road: “If I could make it my way, he wouldn’t be allowed in Northeast Harbor, but bail commissioners don’t do that often – all the time,” Edgecomb stated, according to the complaint.

He admitted to making those comments, according to court filings, but said he was only referring to protesters who were at Leo’s property when Collins was in town years earlier, denying everything else Durand-McDonnell had inferred from Edgecomb’s statements.

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