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Published on Friday, February 8, 2013

Bill addressing the removal and discharge of police officers

SB 5668 was introduced by Sen. Padden (R-Spokane Valley) and is scheduled for a hearing on February 15 in the Senate Law & Justice Committee. The bill would essentially prohibit an arbitrator from overturning a decision to remove or discharge a police officer for an illegal act or dishonesty if the arbitrator found that the employer established that the person engaged in those acts by clear and convincing evidence. The bill also defines an illegal act and an act of dishonesty or untruthfulness. This legislation may be of interest, as there have been cases where an officer has been found to have been dishonest, but an arbitrator has overturned the disciplinary action or termination as too harsh a punishment.

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