As some may know, generally a police officer’s challenge to discipline is not brought to arbitration by the officer, but only can be brought to arbitration by an officer’s union. There also are times when, for various reasons, an officer does not wish to be represented by union counsel. In a recent case handled by RJA, an officer wished to have RJA handle his challenge to his termination at arbitration and the officer’s union agreed to the request. The case involved allegations that the officer committed a larceny by overcharging a citizen for a license to carry permit, lied to Massachusetts State Police investigators during an interview into missing license to carry money, improperly sought overtime compensation on two occasions and had allowed his driver’s license to lapse.
RESULT: An arbitrator soundly rejected each of the claims brought against the officer, concluding that the Town had violated the collective bargaining agreement that provided just cause protections for the officer. Further, the arbitrator ordered that the Town immediately offer the officer to return to his position, along with an award of the back pay and benefits that he lost as a result of his wrongful termination. The Town has appealed that arbitration award to Superior Court, where RJA continues to defend the officer vigorously.
RJA Counsel: Attorney Andrew J. Gambaccini