Ward Damon partner Sally Still recently successfully defended the Town of South Palm Beach’s decision to terminate a police officer who was arrested for domestic battery (dating violence) and false imprisonment. During the three day arbitration, the employer and the police officer’s union, the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) introduced evidence and testimony regarding the conduct that lead to the police officer’s arrest.
The arbitrator, William Serda, found that the officer improperly used physical force to restrain and control his girlfriend, and did not believe the officer’s self-serving testimony that he held the victim captive in his home for several hours in order to protect her from driving home in an impaired state of intoxication. The arbitrator also found that the police officer’s off-duty conduct, which resulted in serious emotional pain and injury to the victim, was inexplicable and egregious.
Therefore, Arbitrator Serda affirmed the termination and denied the grievance in its entirety. The Town of South Palm Beach’s decision to terminate the officer was upheld, as this officer engaged in egregious conduct which was not acceptable and contrary to the high standards that it set for the behavior of its law enforcement officers, on duty or off duty.
A PDF of the award in
Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association v. Town of South Palm Beach is
Sally Still is Florida Bar Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law, and is expertly qualified to guide employers, including municipalities, through the myriad of issues faced when terminating an employee under difficult circumstances.