Down East 2013 ©
The Bangor Daily News is reporting  that the Larry Grard case against MaineToday Media has been settled. No terms of the deal were announced. The BDN was unable to reach Grard’s lawyer, and the attorney for MTM refused comment.
Grard of Winslow had worked at the MaineToday-owned Morning Sentinel for 18 years when he was fired in November 2009. The cause of his dismissal was an email he sent on a company computer to a national gay rights group criticizing its response to the defeat of a same-sex marriage law in Maine. Grard, who thought his message was anonymous, admitted he made a mistake in using the newspaper’s equipment to express his personal opinion. But he argued that he had an otherwise clean employment record and should not have lost his job over a single slip. Grard, who’s Catholic, claimed the company was discriminating against him because of his religious beliefs.
Within a few weeks of his firing, Grard’s union, the Portland Newspaper Guild, was able to negotiate a settlement with the company, but Grard rejected that deal, instead appealing to the Maine Human Rights Commission, which never ruled on his case, but did issue a right-to-sue letter. He did just that in U.S. District Court in Bangor, claiming his firing was both discriminatory and retaliatory. The latter claim was dismissed earlier this year, but the discrimination complaint was still alive and headed for trial.
Recently, Grard has been working as the editor of the Bangor-based weekly, the Citizen Journal, but he was laid off  from that job last month.
Al Diamon can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org .