After losing her husband in the line of duty, the widow of a former Albany detective is speaking out. Linda Mayville claims the city isn’t providing her with the benefits she’s entitled to following her husband’s death nearly four years ago.
Mayville is seeking legal counsel and plans to file a lawsuit against the city of Albany if Mayor Kathy Sheehan doesn't respond by Friday.
In 2008, Linda's husband, Douglas Mayville, was diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, and what followed was a lengthy and gruesome medical battle, which has turned into a legal dispute. Mayville served the city as a police officer and later as a crime scene investigator from 1982 to 1997. During those 16 years, the nature of his work led to an exposure of toxic chemicals which would ultimately lead to a painful autoimmune disease known as Wegener’s disease.
According to the State of New York Workers’ Compensation Board, Mayville died in 2014 as a result of a work-related injury. The Albany Police Department honored him for losing his life in the line of duty and even named a K-9 after him.
According to the collective bargaining agreement between the Albany police officers' union and the city of Albany, health insurance benefits will continue to the surviving spouse of an officer killed in the line of duty.
The city says Mayville died from an unrelated illness, which means Linda Mayville is receiving zero benefits. It’s something James Lyman, president of a local law enforcement organization, says is mind boggling.
“It's bad enough what they’ve had to go through, now they have to go through this with the city," said Lyman. "I really thought all along maybe the mayor just didn’t understand; maybe she just didn’t give that much attention to it, 'cause we never got to meet with her, but at this point -- I don’t know, it's more than a year later, a year and a half -- she's been waiting trying to get answers. They’re entitled to their health care. It’s that simple."
Mayville isn’t the only widow who says the city isn’t giving her the benefits she’s entitled to. Geraldyne Renna’s husband, Louis, died in August, and according to Lyman, Renna's death can also be attributed to a work-related illness during his time in the Albany Police Department.