Tobler v. City of Cape Coral
Ofc. Tobler had a disagreement with her supervisor regarding her documentation of a specific call for service. The supervisor then began to review all the member’s BWC videos for the previous three months and asserted that the member failed to write reports on 18 incidents. The supervisor then put together a very biased summary and sent it to Professional Standards to request an investigation. The investigation revealed that the member did not write reports on battery, domestic violence, vehicle accidents and property damage calls. However, this is a common practice within the agency. The supervisor also charged the member with insubordination for a discussion about how to handle a call. The significant defense issues in this case are whether proper training was provided regarding these specific incidents and whether the discipline was proportional to discipline instituted in other cases under similar circumstances. A two-day arbitration hearing was held on March 15th and 16th. The Arbitrator found no just cause for discipline and made the member whole.â€‹â€‹
In re: Forfeiture of Retirement Benefits of Rafael Valdes
A retired FOP member was accused of using his position to commit theft of material from the department armory. The pension board moved to forfeit his pension. A hearing was held, the matter was briefed and the Hialeah Pension Plan Board awarded the member his full pension.
Johnson v. Lauderhill
During a pre-determination hearing for Sgt. Atina Johnson, where the department had proposed a demotion, Johnson made statements that the chief of police claimed were untruthful. The FOP prevailed on the demotion case, and she retained her stripes and served only a 40-hour suspension without pay. However, the department investigated her based on the veracity of her statements and subsequently terminated her for the alleged untruthful comments she made during that Pre-D hearing. An arbitration hearing, which was originally set for two days, was held on January 14th. At the end of the day, the arbitrator had a meeting with the attorneys and told the city to work this matter out. The parties negotiated a settlement that placed the member back to work, with full back-pay.
Russell v. Charlotte County SO
A Charlotte S.O. Lodge 66 member had a meeting with his Sgt. and Lt. to discuss career promotional issues. He was asked by his Lt. if he had deployed the LPR Trailer at the fairgrounds over the previous weekend. The member replied that he did, but a short time later re-considered this and had second thoughts as to whether he was confusing his dates with a deployment on a cold case location from the previous week and half earlier. The member was later asked by his Sgt. why he lied about the trailer, to which the member replied that he honestly forgot and did not intend to mislead them or outright lie about not deploying the trailer. The Lt. met with the member and told him he had already submitted an administrative report about this incident and sent it through the chain of command for further review. The member was placed on administrative leave with pay after being notified of an internal affairs investigation for violation of Neglect of Duty and Untruthfulness. After an investigation, the member was notified that his appointment with the Charlotte County S.O. had been withdrawn and he was no longer employed with their agency. Arbitration was held and the arbitrator issued an order granting the grievance, finding that the agency did not establish just cause for the member’s termination.
FOP Lodge 86 v. Orange County Corrections
The union filed a class grievance due to the department’s continued violation of its members’ Weingarten rights. At the hearing, the department settled the matter, agreeing to change the policy of its internal affairs office
Durden v. Jacksonville Aviation Authority
A Jacksonville Aviation Authority civilian employee, who is a member of the labor council through the Jacksonville Airport Police FOP Lodge 85 Auxiliary, was terminated for violation of work rules. The member was an airport police and fire dispatcher with high-level security system access credentials. In addition to dispatch duties, the member is generally assigned to operate airport doors and surveillance cameras from a stationary computer terminal in the dispatch room. After an incident where a TSA employee was accused of battering another, the member accessed video of the incident at the request of police officers investigating the battery. Additionally, the TSA supervisor asked to review the video, so the member stopped by the TSA operations center and pulled the video up on a TSA terminal monitor to allow the TSA manager to review it. The JAA found this to be a significant security violation and terminated the member. An arbitration hearing was held on December 5th, 2019 wherein the FOP presented evidence that the member was allowed access to all areas, and that his security violation was not as egregious as other JAA employees who were not terminated for more substantial security violations. The arbitrator granted the grievance and reversed the termination, awarding the member significant back-pay.
St. Cloud FOP v. City of St. Cloud
An Unfair Labor Practice Hearing was scheduled in St. Cloud, Florida based on a charge by the FOP that the city retaliated against the local FOP president and interfered and coerced the executive board in matters that are protected under Chapter 447. In this case, the deputy chief of police wanted to return to work as deputy chief after completing the DROP instead of separating from employment. The city manager asked the union president for the union’s position on whether they oppose such an arrangement. The union’s executive board discussed the issue and decided against it. After some discussion, the Board wrote a letter to the city manager and met with him to express their views. The city manager decided not to take any action to allow the deputy chief to return. Within days of that decision, the department initiated a criminal investigation for forgery and uttering with the union president as the target, based on a four-year-old civil dispute the union president had with a business that was outside the jurisdictional boundaries of St. Cloud. Furthermore, the department initiated an internal investigation into the discussion at the union meeting, based on a complaint by a person who was present at the meeting, claiming that the union did not make the decision they made to oppose the re-employment of the deputy chief. Five members of the executive board were disciplined pursuant to the investigation. The hearing was set for February 28, 2020, but at the start of the hearing, the parties struck a deal on the discipline. The department agreed to reduce the discipline for all members to oral counseling that would not be used for progressive discipline in the future and that it would be purged from their IA file six months from the date of the initial discipline. The city also agreed that it would not interfere in the administration of the local lodge in the future.
Hatcher v. Clay County SO
A member, a male corrections officer, was accused of inappropriate relationships with female inmates, and was terminated. A career service board hearing was held where the board voted unanimously finding no just cause for termination.
Garcia v. Osceola County SO
An Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Deputy, who is a member of the Legal Defense Plan was served with notice of withdrawal of appointment in July 2019. The member was observed driving to a pre-arranged non-emergency SWAT call-out, traveling over 90 mph by a road patrol Lt. When the in-car video was pulled, it showed he traveled intermittently between 80 and 110 mph during the approximately 20-minute drive to the call-out. The internal investigator pulled three previous months of the member’s in-car video and discovered that the member exceeded 90 mph while driving in non-emergency situations and off-duty periods approximately 17 times. A career service hearing was held where the FOP challenged the excessive discipline by showing other deputies receiving lighter discipline for similar instances and argued that the member’s discipline was arbitrary and capricious. The career service board agreed with the FOP and reduced the member’s discipline to a suspension and further training.
Daniel Seiman OIS – A Pensacola officer was involved in an OIS, involving a drug suspect. The State Attorney took the case to a grand jury, where the FOP represented the officer from response at the scene all the way through the issuance of no true bill to the grand jury.