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Deputy Cannot Sue Prosecutor For Wrongful Placement On Brady List

Mike Harris was hired by the Chelan County, Washington Sheriff’s Department in 1995. In July 2012, Harris advanced to the Chief of Patrol. Harris’ duties as Chief of Patrol included overseeing the Department’s armory. In August 2013, Harris investigated a missing Colt M16 rifle the County had purchased from the Army. In 2011, Undersheriff John Wisemore had signed documents indicating the rifle was in the armory, but range masters…

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Brady Designation May Require Reasonable Accommodation

  Litigation between police officer Adam Hubacz and the Village of Waterbury, Vermont has been going on since 2012. While employed as a police officer by the Village, Hubacz applied for a law enforcement position in another town. He participated in a pre-polygraph examination interview, which was a required condition of the application process. During the interview, Hubacz admitted to several acts, including cheating on a police exam, insurance…

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Brady Material Results In 10-Year Suspension From Patrol Duties

Deputies Matthew Griebel and Bryan Lukich work for the Will County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Department. In 2011, Griebel signed a Last Chance Agreement in which he agreed that he made inconsistent statements during an Internal Affairs investigation. Griebel hit a deer with his patrol car and then falsely claimed that the accident was caused by a reckless driver. Griebel reiterated the falsehood under oath at an administrative hearing. Lukich also…

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Brady And The Privacy Of Personnel Records

A bit of backdrop is necessary to understand an important Brady decision recently issued by the California Court of Appeals. In Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), the United States Supreme Court held that constitutional due process creates an affirmative obligation on the part of the prosecution, whether or not requested by the defense, to disclose all evidence within its possession that is exculpatory to a criminal defendant….

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Officer Received Adequate Due Process Before Being Placed On Brady-Type List

John Gantert began working as a police officer in Rochester, New Hampshire in March 2005. For six years he was viewed as a “good and productive officer” and had no disciplinary actions reflected in his personnel file. Upon beginning his shift on March 24, 2011, Gantert was instructed to assist another officer in booking an individual arrested for domestic violence. As part of the Department’s standard operating procedure in…

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Wrongful Release Of Brady Information ‘Adverse Action’ For Employment Purposes

James Cleavenger was a public safety officer for the University of Oregon Police Department from March 2011 to October 2012, when his employment was terminated. Cleavenger sued the University, contending that the Police Chief retaliated against him for engaging in protected speech in violation of his First Amendment rights. A jury agreed with Cleavenger, and awarded him $650,000 in economic damages as well as punitive damages of $105,000 against…

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Major Brady Case From Texas

Stephanie Brown is an officer with the Georgetown, Texas Police Department. In January 2013, Brown was investigated by the Department because Eric Poteet, with whom Brown had formerly been in a relationship, alleged that Brown had been taking his prescription medication and had ingested mescaline. As a result of this investigation, Wayne Nero, the Georgetown Police Chief, concluded that Brown had used Poteet’s prescription drugs, ingested mescaline, and been…

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Correcting Lie During Same Interview Saves Officer’s Job

On December 2, 2013, a complainant alleged that an officer of the Hutchinson, Kansas Police Department had arrested her in late November for a DUI violation. The complainant said that the officer later telephoned her at home, sent her several text messages, and generally engaged in harassing conduct. The Department interviewed the officer, who admitted visiting the home of the complainant after the DUI arrest to follow up on…

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Arbitration Decision Can Be Basis For Removal From Brady List

The “Laurie List” is a version of a “Brady list” used in some New Hampshire jurisdictions (it is named after a decision of the New Hampshire Supreme Court in State v. Laurie, 139 N.H. 325, 329 (1995)). For example, the Hillsborough County Attorney keeps a list of police officers with potentially exculpatory information in their personnel files or elsewhere. Officers are added to the list when a police chief…

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Designation On ‘Brady List’ Entitles Sheriff To Attorney

A California statute outlines the circumstances under which a county must provide independent counsel to a sheriff. Under the statute, the sheriff is entitled to counsel “in any case where the County counsel or the district attorney would have a conflict of interest in representing the assessor or the sheriff.” Francisco Rivero is the Sheriff of Lake County. The local District Attorney announced intention to designate Rivero as a…

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Brady Does Not Necessarily Require Discharge Of Untruthful Trooper

Thomas C. Wetherington was employed as a trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. In 2009, Wetherington was fired for violating the Patrol’s policies on untruthfulness. After a variety of appeals, the matter ended up in the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The Court started with the proposition that under North Carolina law, “determining whether a public employer had just cause to discipline its employee requires two separate…

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Another Arbitrator Weighs In On Brady List And Discipline

Arbitrators seem increasingly skeptical that a police officer’s placement on a Brady list, in and of itself, should be a basis for discipline. The latest arbitrator to speak to the issue, Thomas Levak, has followed what is now the general trend that Brady list status cannot alone justify discipline. The case involved Officer Kevin Tuggle of the Elma, Washington Police Department. A local district attorney deemed Tuggle a “Brady…

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The ‘Brady Rule’ And Arbitration

A case involving the Kansas City Police Department has explored the relationship between the Brady/Giglio rule and the “just cause” provisions of a collective bargaining agreement. The case stemmed from the termination of Officer Jeffrey Gardner. Gardner was assigned to the SCORE Team, the Department’s equivalent of a SWAT Team. The Wyandotte County District Attorney conducted an investigation into whether members of the SCORE Team had stolen items from…

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California Governor Signs Sweeping Brady Bill

More than a decade ago, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office began to take the position that the Supreme Court’s decision in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) applied to law enforcement disciplinary decisions. In Brady itself, the Court had held that the prosecution in a criminal case has an obligation to disclose to a criminal defendant any potentially exculpatory information. The significant development in the Los Angeles…

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California Officer Loses Brady Claim

2013 has not been a good year in court for former Torrance, California police officer Rehan Nazir. Earlier, Nazir lost a case in federal court contending that his termination violated his equal protection rights. In April 2013, Nazir lost a related case in the California Court of Appeals. Nazir’s difficulties started on April 14, 2007, when he prepared a “probable cause declaration” omitting the fact that he had been…

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