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North Carolina Sheriff’s Deputies Disciplined Over Trump Rally

Five North Carolina Sheriff’s deputies have been disciplined over their behavior at a rally for Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump where a white supporter sucker punched a black protester, officials said on Wednesday. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said three deputies were demoted and suspended for five days each without pay for their unsatisfactory performance at last week’s rally while the two others were suspended for three days….

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Umass Police Union Disavows Parent Union’s Endorsement Of Donald Trump

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Department’s union has disavowed its parent union’s endorsement of GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying the endorsement “does not reflect the views” of its membership. The New England Police Benevolent Association, which represents over 100 police departments in the region, voted on Dec. 10 to endorse Trump after the Republican frontrunner attended the union’s candidate forum in New Hampshire. Trump was the only…

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First Thursday, December 2015

In this month’s podcast, Will discusses attacks on police union bargaining rights from both the left and right sides of the political spectrum and covers the following cases. City May Recoup Costs From Former Peace Officer For Peace Officer Standards And Training (“POST”) Certification, In re Acknowledgment Cases, 239 Cal.App.4th 1498 (2015) In Georgia, Deputy Sheriffs Can Be Fired For Political Reasons, Gonzalez v. Hasty, 802 F.3d 212 (2015)…

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Atlanta Firefighters Take Fight With Mayor To Youtube

ATLANTA, GA – An Atlanta firefighters union is taking their battle with Mayor Kasim Reed over pension and pay to a new level: YouTube. The Atlanta Professional Firefighters Association is behind a nearly three-minute video that says Reed’s refusal to grant new raises to public safety is causing veteran firefighters and police officers to leave. The video comes about a month after local police and fire unions erected a…

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Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake Won’t Seek Re-Election

Embattled Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Friday that she will not seek re-election, saying a political campaign would take time away from the city’s ability to cope with a police brutality scandal. “The last thing I want is for every one of the decisions I make … to be questioned in the context of a political campaign,” she told reporters. The announcement came one day after a judge ruled…

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Embattled Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Pick Faces Tough Questions

Gov. Tom Wolf’s choice to lead the Pennsylvania State Police responded to a battery of questions Wednesday from Republican senators who, like the troopers’ union, want the Democratic governor to withdraw Col. Marcus Brown as his nominee, while a Democrat accused Brown’s detractors of opposing the integration of the overwhelmingly white force. The hour-long hearing on Brown’s nomination was a prelude to the Senate’s determination about whether Brown will…

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First Thursday, May 2015

Cases discussed in this month’s podcast include: The negotiability of workplace cameras, IAFF, Local 3315 v. Snohomish Fire District 3, 2015 WL 1013220 (Wash. PERC 2015) Arbitrator’s reinstatement of officer in excess force case does not violate public policy, City of Bloomington v. Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, 2015 IL App (4th) 140192-U (Ill. App. 2015) Union can assume city’s negotiators have authority, City of Springfield, 31 PERI ¶…

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First Thursday, April 2015

This month’s podcast features an overview of the anti-public safety collective bargaining legislation making its way in various state houses across the country and an important new genetic information discrimination case involving a firefighter. Cases discussed: Firefighter Wins Age Discrimination, GINA Claims, Lee v. City of Moraine Fire Department, 2015 WL 914440 (S.D. Ohio 2015) Firefighter Loses ADA Case Because Discrimination Occurred Before Change In Law, Kennedy v. Gray,…

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Wisconsin State Trooper Union Contract With 17 Percent Raises Rejected On Partisan Vote

MADISON, WI – Republican lawmakers rejected a proposed contract negotiated by Gov. Scott Walker’s administration that would have given state troopers a 17 percent pay raise on average, saying Thursday it would never get the votes necessary to pass the full Legislature. Instead, Republican legislative leaders urged the troopers’ union and Walker administration to resume negotiations and reach a new deal with a raise closer to 3 percent. “I’ve…

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Move In Kansas To End Public Employee Bargaining Over Virtually Everything

Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill that would significantly scale back the collective bargaining power of public sector unions. Senate Bill 179, which had a hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, would define “conditions of employment” to exclusively mean salaries and wages in future contract negotiations between state and local governments and employees. That would mean that sick leave, insurance benefits and retirement benefits, for example, would…

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Memphis Police Union President Announces Mayoral Candidacy

MEMPHIS, TN – The roster of declared candidates for Mayor of Memphis continues to swell, with the latest entry in the race being that of Mike Williams, president of the Memphis Police Association and a persistent critic of incumbent Mayor A C Wharton’s strategies for attracting industry and his austerity-oriented policy changes toward city employees’ benefits. In a statement appended to an ad hoc Facebook page entitled “Mike for…

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New Tactic In Stalled San Antonio Health Insurance Negotiations: A ‘Push Poll’

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Officials at the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association were outraged Wednesday over reports that a telephone poll regarding stalled collective bargaining negotiations with the city was being conducted in San Antonio. “When we have taken our message to the community, we offered 100 percent transparency by announcing on each public outreach item that it was from SAPOA. We also told the truth and used verifiable…

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Anchorage, Alaska Police Union Recycling Campaign Signs Into Little Libraries

ANCHORAGE, AK – In police officer Barry Hetlet’s garage-turned-workshop Friday, sawdust and pieces of wood rested near a stack of black, yellow and red campaign signs. Left over from this month’s election, the “No on 1 — Repeal 37” signs were a ubiquitous sight in Anchorage during the successful union-backed effort to repeal a major rewrite of city labor law, Anchorage Ordinance 37. The day after the election, union…

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No Violation To Freeze Pension When Retired Firefighter Elected To City Council

John Loscombe retired from the Scranton, Pennsylvania Fire Department in May 2011, and began receiving a pension check. Later, Loscombe was first appointed and then elected to the Scranton City Council. The City suspended Loscombe’s pension payments on the basis of a City Code provision providing that “when any fireman is pensioned and thereafter enters the service of the City in any capacity with compensation the pension of such…

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Lieutenant Wins Legal Theory But Loses Case Against Sheriff

William Hunt was a lieutenant in the Orange County, California Sheriff’s Department. Hunt was the Chief of Police Services for the City of San Clemente, which contracted with the Department for police services. In May 2005, Hunt announced that he would challenge Mike Carona, the incumbent Orange County Sheriff, in the upcoming June 6, 2006 election. During the campaign, Hunt issued public statements, radio addresses, press releases, and campaign…

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First Amendment Protects Speech, Not ‘Mere Candidacy’ For Public Office

Brian Keating is a deputy for the Wayne County, Michigan Sheriff’s Department. In 2006, Keating ran for sheriff against Warren Evans. During the election, Keating was transferred from his road patrol position to one in the County jail. When Keating was informed of his transfer, he became very upset and announced his resignation. Keating later calmed down and reported for his new job at the jail, but he was…

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Tulsa Firefighters Union Hits Campaign Trail Despite Mayor’s Directive

TULSA, OK &#8211 The Tulsa Firefighters believe they have found a way around Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s executive order prohibiting public employees from campaigning in city elections. They have enlisted retired firefighters, friends, family and out-of-town firefighters to campaign on their behalf. “We don’t believe that we’re doing anything shady or out-of-line here. We’re simply just using citizens who still have the right to campaign,” Dennis Moseby, Firefighters Union President,…

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Albuquerque Fire Chief Under Political Attack

From KOAT.com: The fallout continues after Darren White’s retirement as Albuquerque public safety director. Fire chief James Breen is under attack for not standing up to White after the former public safety director claimed paramedics weren’t equipped to take his wife to the hospital after a car accident. Breen, who faces a no-confidence vote next week, wrote a memo to all firefighters, saying that there “seems to be blood…

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Small Town Politics Result In Verdict In Deputy’s Favor

Cooper County, Missouri has a population of 17,061, and a sheriff’s department made up of both reserves and a few sworn deputies. The Sheriff is Jerry Wolfe. Dwight Pfeiffer was one of Wolfe’s deputies, his wife Robin Pfeiffer was a reserve deputy, and his stepdaughter Jennifer Tice was a detention officer. In 2008, Dwight Pfeiffer ran against Wolfe and lost. Within weeks, Wolfe fired both Pfeiffers and Tice. Pfeiffer…

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Cuts In Collective Bargaining In Ohio

While there has been much focus on the drama that produced Wisconsin’s changes in its public employees collective bargaining law, even more substantial changes have occurred in Ohio. The political dynamics in the two states are the same – newly-elected Republican majorities in both houses of the legislature, and a Republican governor. Unlike Wisconsin’s law, however, Senate Bill 5 in Ohio, signed into law on April 1, 2011 by…

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Court Upholds Jury’s Verdict In Favor Of Deputy Sheriff

Norman Sallitt was a deputy sheriff for Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Sallitt sued the County, alleging that the Sheriff and his chief deputy retaliated against him for supporting the Sheriff’s political opponent in an election. As part of the retaliation, Sallitt asserted that he was suspended from his position for nine months, and lost opportunities to obtain higher-paying employment with the Pennsylvania State Police and the United States Marshal’s Service….

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Firefighter’s Parking Lot Sign Not Protected By First Amendment

Peter Yackel is a firefighter in the Township of Edison, New Jersey. On June 1, 2009, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Yackel arrived for his tour of duty at Fire Station No. 3 and parked his pickup truck in the parking lot as he always did. Displayed in the bed of Yackel’s pickup truck was a piece of poster board which read: “Choi Lies! Save Public Safety In Edison.” The…

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Candidate For Police Chief Position Must Pay Town’s Attorney’s Fees

Ricky Fox and Billy Ray Vice were candidates for the position of Chief of Police in the Town of Vinton, Louisiana. The Town elects its police chiefs, and Vice was the incumbent. While the two were campaigning, two events occurred that eventually led to a federal court lawsuit. The first event happened in January 2005, when Vice sent Fox an anonymous letter in which Vice attempted to blackmail Fox…

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The Fear Of Retribution Not A Constructive Discharge

Randy Goff was an assistant chief of police for the City of Somerset, Kentucky. Goff supported the opponent to Eddie Girdler in the mayoral race in 2006. When Girdler won, he told the Police Chief of his intent to punish Goff and others for their support of the mayor’s opponent. Goff immediately began to examine his options. A lawyer who met with Goff advised him that he would have…

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Court Upholds Rule Banning Contact with Former Inmates

Dennis Harris was a deputy sheriff for Butler County, Ohio. When he was terminated, Harris filed a lawsuit contending that he was fired in retaliation for supporting the Sheriff’s opponent in a recent election. Harris asserted that the Sheriff complained that Harris had never campaigned for him, and was angry because Harris attended a hog roast fundraiser for former Sheriff Don Gabbard that was held at Harris’ church. A…

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