Veteran Bridgeport Police Lieutenant William “Ron” Bailey has a reputation for traveling to the beat of a different drum that includes 30 years of investigating, infiltrating and arresting the most dangerous drug dealers in the city. Currently, he’s in charge of sick and injury management that has put him at odds with officers he claims have falsely accused him of manipulating results of random urine tests for drug screening, including one officer who faced suspension. Bailey has responded with a lawsuit claiming officers, including Charles Paris, head of Police Local 1159, have maliciously submarined his business and professional relationships. This is another chapter in Baily’s years-long confrontation with union leadership; this time in key areas of the department, sick and injury abuse as well as drug testing.
Bailey tells OIB:
Since I took over sick and injury mismanagement three years ago, they are not happy with my making people come to work or that I then seek to force retire those that don’t come to work … Why would the union president seek to pursue a claim that is clearly false even after he was made aware I can’t tamper with the samples.
Bailey’s Superior Court complaint states that his responsibilities “include sick and injury management within the Bridgeport Police Department, to assure that taxpayers are not cheated by officers’ inappropriate use of sick and injury leave time.”
During the summer of 2012, as a part of his official duties, according to the complaint, Bailey directed several police officers, including defendant Ivan Clayton to submit to random urine tests for drug screening. The complaint adds that Clayton, a member of the department’s Tactical Narcotics Team, failed the drug screening test and as a result was suspended with pay.
In a written communication last August to Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett, the complaint asserts that Clayton falsely and maliciously accused Bailey of “tampering” with his drug screening test and demanded that Bailey “be removed from his current position where he is in charge, of sick and injured management.”
Last September, in a meeting with Gaudett in the chief’s office, Paris asked the chief to investigate whether Bailey had in fact tampered with the test, according to the complaint.
“In the manner described above, the defendants have maliciously accused the plaintiff of committing a felony,” the suit alleges. “They have made that accusation with actual knowledge that the accusation was false and have made it for the purpose of causing the plaintiff to suffer injury in his relationship with his employer.”
The complaint states that as a result of the defendants actions Bailey has been subjected to a formal investigation by the Internal Affairs Division, has been required to respond in writing to the accusations and has been “undermined in his professional relationships with his superiors and subordinates, and has been caused to suffer emotional distress and humiliation.”
Bailey seeks judgment against the defendants including compensatory and punitive damages. Bailey is represented by veteran civil rights litigator John Williams.
Paris, Clayton, et al., are welcome to share their side of the story with OIB.