The FOP responds to the limbo status of the 17 officers fired-reinstated-and-then-who the hell knows! Lanier and other city officials are now hoping to do away with some of these officers by claiming that violating the 55-day deadline is only a minor violation. They’ve since produced a regulation that says so.
Or at least appears to.
FOP Honcho Kristopher Baumann says these new arguments are bogus: “I think it’s improper. I think it’s completely unprofessional. I think it’s going to completely undermine the confidence in the mayor and the attorney general to uphold the laws of the District of Columbia. We fire more police officers than any other police department. It’s not hard to do it…. It’s a simple step-by-step process and yet they won’t follow their own rules.”
“If we miss a deadline, are they going to say that’s minor?” Baumann argues.
Baumann goes on to hint that several of these cases aren’t just faulty because of a blown deadline—-buried within the cases of the 17, there were other big-time issues. The department happened to just get dinged on the 55-day rule.
Baumann goes on to slam Interim Attorney General Peter J. Nickles‘ reading of the regs.
The original press release from the mayor’s office states: “Nickles’ interpretation of District personnel law is based on Title 6, Section 1601.8 of the DC Municipal Regulations, which reads: ‘A deciding official may not dismiss a proposed disciplinary action solely on the basis of error in the application of the agency’s procedures which did not cause substantial harm or prejudice to the employee’s rights.’
“What he cited is inapplicable,” Baumann says of Nickles. “He may need to have someone sitdown with him and help him by explaining to him how the regulations work.”
Here are the applicable regs Baumann points to:
1601.2 Any procedural system for the review of adverse actions negotiated between the District of Columbia and a labor organization shall take precedence over the provisions of this chapter for employees in a bargaining unit represented by a labor organization, to the extent that there is a difference. A contract, memorandum of understanding, or collective bargaining agreement cannot modify the standard for cause as defined in § 1603.
1601.3 If an employee is authorized to choose between the negotiated grievance process set forth in a collective bargaining agreement and the grievance or appellate process provided in these rules, the employee may elect, at his or her discretion, to do one (1) of the following:
(a) Grieve through the negotiated grievance procedure; or
(b) Appeal to the Office of Employee Appeals or file a disciplinary grievance, each as provided in these rules.
1601.4 An employee shall be deemed to have elected his or her remedy pursuant to § 1601.3 when he or she files a disciplinary grievance or an appeal under the provisions of this chapter or files a grievance in writing in accordance with the provisions of the negotiated grievance procedure applicable to the parties, whichever event occurs first. This section shall not be construed to toll any deadlines for filing.
1601.5 (a) Any procedures for handling corrective or adverse actions involving uniformed members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), or of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMSD) at the rank of Captain or below provided for by law, or by regulations of the respective departments in effect on the effective date of these regulations, including but not limited to procedures involving trial boards, shall take precedence over the provisions of this chapter to the extent that there is a difference.
(b) The provisions of this chapter shall apply to uniformed members of the FEMSD at the rank of Battalion Fire Chief and above who are in the Career Service.
What all this means: The battle over the 17 officers is going to cost the city tons more dough.