Six-Year Delay In Resolving Disciplinary Charges Does Not Violate Due Process

Russell Cope worked as a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper for 35 years when he was terminated in 2006. Cope’s termination was based upon his handling of a traffic stop on May 30, 2000. Cope challenged his termination through the court system arguing, among other things, that the six-year delay between the incident and the bringing of charges against him violated his due process rights. The Tennessee Court of Appeals…

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Bill Of Rights Statute Of Limitations Stops Running When Employee Is Fired

Carlos Sanchez was a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department. In 2003, Sanchez was served with a multi-count disciplinary charge, including allegations that he maintained an improper relationship with a drug dealer, that he failed to notify his commanding officer of an informant he was utilizing, that he improperly purchased a motorcycle from a known informant, and that he released confidential documents and information to an informant. During…

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‘Aren’t You Being Discriminatory’ Is Protected Activity Under ADA

Mary Casna was a police clerk for the City of Loves Park, Illinois. Casna suffers a hearing impairment resulting from chemotherapy and wears aids in both ears. Casna reported to Kay Eliot, the Chief’s secretary. Eliot kept a log in which she recorded Casna’s performance, and her comments were rarely favorable. Eliot noted that Casna took a long time to complete routine tasks and gossiped about coworkers. The tension…

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Volunteer Firefighters Have No Property Right To The Job

Brian Baker, Brian Jenkins, Gary Jenkins, and Brandon Jenkins were all volunteer firefighters for the City of Stanford, Kentucky. In 2006, they became concerned about the safety and reliability of the equipment being used by the Department. Their concerns included a lack of testing on hoses, a rusted-out battery compartment on a fire engine, faulty wiring systems for engine windshield wipers and headlights, a malfunctioning air tank, and a…

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No Property Interest In Commander’s Position In Chicago PD

John Matthews was a commander with the Chicago Police Department. In 2006, Matthews’ son was arrested, and despite being injured, was not promptly offered medical attention for his injuries. Following his son’s arrest, Matthews filed a complaint in an effort to initiate an investigation of the arresting officers. Subsequent to Matthews filing that complaint, a disciplinary complaint was filed against him. When he was demoted from the rank of…

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Extensive Disciplinary Procedures Do Not Create Property Right To Job

Carey Faulkner was employed by the City of Bartlett, Tennessee as a police officer beginning in 1999. On August 18, 2007, Faulkner held a party at her home which was attended by neighbors and police officer trainees. Drinking and nude swimming took place at the party, and Faulkner’s husband was subsequently charged with sexually assaulting one of the party guests. The local media reported about Faulkner’s party and previous…

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Sergeant Has No Constitutional Right To Be Given A Polygraph

George Emigh was employed as a sergeant by the Pennsylvania State Police. Emigh was the subject of a sexual misconduct complaint filed by a judge alleging that he engaged in inappropriate conduct towards her during a private party. The Department sustained some of the charges against him, and informed Emigh that he had the right to have his case heard by an arbitrator or by a court marshal. Emigh…

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No Right To Hearing Prior To Removal As Paramedic

The memorandum of understanding (California’s equivalent to a collective bargaining agreement) between the San Diego Firefighters and the City of San Diego calls for premium pay for paramedics. The language in the MOU is that the premium is only paid to individuals “certified as paramedics.” There has been a longstanding agreement that the phrase “certified as paramedic” means “certified by the EMS medical director to operate as a paramedic…

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Due Process Not Needed Prior To Reorganization Which Resulted In Lieutenant’s Reduction To Sergeant

William Carlberg was a lieutenant with the New Hampshire Bureau of Highway Patrol and Enforcement. In 2007, Carlberg was deployed to active duty by the United States National Guard. While he was deployed, the Department reorganized, moving the Highway Patrol from the Division of Motor Vehicles into the Division of State Police. A collective bargaining agreement with terms relating to departmental reorganization was in effect at the time. The…

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Backup Of Jail Sewer System Does Not Deprive Officer Of Due Process

Gordon Belanger is a deputy sheriff assigned to corrections with the Oakland County, Michigan Sheriff’s Office. In 2005, the sewer system for the jail flooded, exposing employees to unsanitary working conditions. Belanger was eventually treated for blisters on his fingers that were later diagnosed as methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Belanger eventually sued the County, claiming that the fact that the sewer backed up combined with what he perceived…

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Civil Service Commission Cannot Change Basis For Discipline

Christopher Parent is a police officer employed by the City of Bellevue, Nebraska. During firearm training on August 28, 2007, Parent had significant problems getting up from one knee throughout the course of the exercise. The City believed that Parent’s excessive weight caused the difficulty with the firearm training. The City eventually terminated Parent for violating the Department’s rules requiring officers to demonstrate appropriate physical endurance and agility. Parent…

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Iowa Police Chief Has No Due Process Rights

Michael Burke was the Police Chief of the City of Evansdale, Iowa. In 2006, allegations of sexual harassment were raised against Burke. The City ended up terminating Burke without giving him a pre-disciplinary hearing. Burke filed a lawsuit, contending that he had a contractual – and thus a due process – right to a pre-disciplinary hearing. Burke argued that the employee handbook covering all City employees was the source…

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Police Chief Received Due Process

In 2001, Herbert Truhe was hired by East Penn Township, Pennsylvania as Police Chief, and received a salary of $9.00 an hour. Shortly after he started work, the only other officer employed by the Township resigned, leaving Truhe as the only police officer in the Township until he was terminated. Over time, the relationship between Truhe and William Schwab, a Township Supervisor and the Police Liaison Supervisor, began to…

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