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Legal Debate over D.C. Police's "All Hands on Deck" Heads to PERB

The legal wrangling over the Metropolitan Police Department's "All Hands on Deck" program will head to the Public Employee Relations Board, an independent entity that resolves disputes between the government and labor organizations that represent District employees.

A federal arbitrator ruled earlier this month that the police department's program of putting all available cops on a pair of neighborhood beat shifts over a weekend violated city law and the union contract. The city asked the arbitrator to reconsider -- and union countered with legal papers asking for sanctions -- but this week arbitrator John C. Truesdale rejected both of those requests.

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said she was "disappointed" that the arbitrator wasn't open to correcting what she described as "legal errors" in his original decision. But she downplayed the significance, saying that the denial wasn't "unexpected."

"The case will be appealed to the Public Employee Relations Board as authorized by the law and the labor agreement," Lanier said.

The chief was also adamant that the remaining two "All Hands," for this year would go on. "Fortunately, the arbitrator's decision does not apply to or affect the All Hands on Deck initiatives scheduled for November and December, and they will proceed as planned," Lanier said.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1.Chairman Kristopher Baumann said the chief was showing flagrant disregard for the legal decision, which said that the program must cease immediately. "The message that this sends, that the District of Columbia's Chief of Police and Attorney General [Peter J. Nickles] will not follow the law and will not abide by agreements, is disastrous," Baumann said. "We are talking about millions of dollars in penalties that the Chief is going to obligate the District to pay because she will not follow the law."

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  September 30, 2009; 12:07 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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The chief of police has lost this battle twice. Twice the arbitrator has ruled that city law was violated and the union contract was violated. The police officers were not paid! If Lanier were a member of the rank and file you better believe that she would expect to be paid for overtime as AHOD ultimately resultd in "extra" shifts.

Kathy, pay the people! Does anybody realize how much this is going to cost the city now? All available officers for all of the past AHOD weekends.If only you had followed the law! Now look at the mess you're in and what the taxpayers have to pay for.

The joke however is Fenty and Nickles. Fenty violated the law for two years when he refused to nominate "qualified" persons for the PERB board. This was one of his union breaking schemes. Now that PERB finally has a confirmed board, whose running to it? Uncle Petey and Chatty Kathy.

Fenty, Lanier and Nickles, you lost twice!. What's it going to take for you accept that you were wrong and the union beat you. AHOD was your order. If you had handled it right, you wouldn't be here.

Stop spending more of our tax dollars with your continued fight! You lost! Get it? Get over it! It's over! Pay the officers!!! Somebody better tell Rhee her loses are coming too! Lawsuits because of Fenty and Co will bankrupt this city.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 30, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The arbitrator was mutually chosen. Somebody had to lose.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 30, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I dont know Candycane. I mean, I agree with the "spirit" of your post and all of your opinions but let's not forget that it took Fenty two years to seat a "qualified" PERB due to nominating all his friends but they are STILL "his nominees". Now we will see what they are made of and how "close" to him they really are. If they go AGAINST the arbitrators ruling for him, we will know that no case will ever be "lawfully arbitrated" under FENTY'S PERB.

I think what the union needs to find out about now is... what happens when the LAW AND ARBITRATOR says one thing and "FENTY'S PERB" says another. Can the members of PERB be sued for giving the wrong answer? Can their ruling be over-ruled. I think the union better start finding out their next step now. I wouldn't trust "FENTY'S PERB" to do the right thing at all. Find out what your next step will be after they rule FOR Fenty/Lanier because more than likely, that's what will happen.

Posted by: centsmytwo | September 30, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

centsmytwo: I'm afraid of that as well and you are right, it is Fenty's PERB, which is why uncle petey is going there. But I've got to hope that even Fenty's PERB won't rule against the officers not being paid for hours worked beyond their shifts. Hopefully that's their strong point. I'd hate to think about the mindset of MPD if they lose. I never imagined that a time would come that employees of DC could be so "de-valued". It's absolutely crazy.

Thanks for tolerating my spirit. I wish I could shout it right in Lanier's face.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 30, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Clearly this Mayor and his Chief of Police have shown their complete lack of respect for the officer's and the officer's contract. When Chief Lanier was part of the rank and file, she would never have tolerated how she and her executive staff, have repeatedly violated the MPD Police Officer's labor agreement. As a citizen, I expect that our police officers demonstrate a high level of professionalism, but when the officers are continually mistreated by their Chief of Police, we can't expect that the officers will remain committed... Chief,stop acting like a politician; stop wasting time and financial resources on issues that you know are wrong! You should be held responsible and accountable, financially, if you continue to ignore the law.. Think about how you will feel(and react) should the city violate your very "generous" retirement package.. which is always an option as a means to help correct our city's current budget shortfall..?

Posted by: scott60 | October 2, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

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