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Former police chief loses pay appeal

September 13, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

A former Hancock police chief's claim for back compensation has been denied on appeal.

In an opinion and order filed Monday, Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III ruled in favor of Hancock's mayor and council in a pay dispute with Donald R. Gossage, the previous police chief.

Boone's written opinion and order says Gossage agreed in 2003 to give up a portion of his compensation in order to start a Law Enforcement Officers Pension System (LEOPS).

For each of two fiscal years, he was paid $1,883 less than the contract amount. Also, from February 2004 until March 2005, when he was dismissed from his job, the town didn't pay him monthly health benefits of $436.88 apiece, the order and opinion says.

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Frederick County District Judge Oliver John Cejka Jr., sitting in Washington County District Court, dismissed Gossage's breach-of-contract claim in March.

Gossage appealed to Washington County Circuit Court, where Boone denied the town's motion to dismiss, but ruled against Gossage.

"Gossage's statement of waiver and Town Council's subsequent approval of LEOPS demonstrates there was an understanding between the parties that a waiver was intended," Boone's decision says.

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