Girard disputes police union complaint

WARREN – The city of Girard filed a motion to dismiss a complaint accusing police Chief Jeffrey Palmer and the city of not conducting the department’s shift bidding process properly.

Attorney Eugene Nevada on Tuesday filed a memorandum in support of a motion to dismiss the claim on behalf of the city in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. Nevada declined to comment further on the ongoing legal matter.

The issue stems from the process in which members of the department bid on a permanent schedule of hours worked and days off for officers. According to the collective bargaining agreement between the department and the city, the shift bidding process is to be conducted with seniority given preference. The complaint, filed by the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of North Royalton, alleged bidding was not done correctly in March.

“Every six months employees will bid by seniority … for a permanent schedule of hours worked and days off,” the complaint states. “In March, 2014, the chief of police (Palmer) conducted shift bidding, but did not allow all officers to bid by seniority.”

Officers Scott Siegel and John Freeman filed a grievance with the union, claiming Palmer did not follow the letter of the department’s labor contract.

Both officers asked in their grievance that any changes to the department’s schedule be held off until the grievance is completed.

A request for comment by Palmer was not returned.