Chapel Hill officer: Age played role in transfer

March 7, 2012 7:41:06 PM PST
A Chapel Hill police officer said he was transferred to a new role in the department for being too old.

A citizen committee heard from 55-year-old Lt. Robert Carden Wednesday. He claimed Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue is unlawfully trying to force him out of the department.

Last September, Carden was moved from criminal investigations to head up the department's training division. It's something he said he has no experience with.

Carden was a fixture in criminal investigation. He served as a lieutenant for six years and was in charge of the Eve Carson murder investigation along with hundreds of other cases.

Blue said it was part of a reorganization of leadership.

"Leaving Lt. Carden or any supervisor in a position for so longer that they believe they cannot do anything else doesn't move our organization forward," said Blue.

Carden claimed his eligibility for retirement led to the decision. Blue denied Carden's age had anything to do with the move.

However, Carden said the move was in response to him speaking out against an alleged forged evaluation of another employee. Since then, Carden said he's been the victim of harassment at the department.

"They've made my work environment so hard to deal with that they want me to just leave," said Carden.

Carden wants his old job back. Now, a town committee will make a recommendation to the town's manager. It's unclear when that will happen.

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