Beaumont Police Association sues city over promotional exam

David Yates Jun. 22, 2010, 3:55am

The Beaumont Police Officers Association has filed suit against the city, alleging the city refuses to honor the collective bargaining agreement and pull up a seat at the arbitration table.

The suit was filed June 17 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the original petition, on April 29 the association submitted a contract grievance to Police Chief Frank Coffin over the department's promotional examination.

Coffin denied the grievance a week later, forcing the BPOA to appeal to City Manager Kyle Hayes, who also denied the grievance.

On May 21 the association moved the issue up to the next step on the ladder and informed the city manager that it notified the American Arbitration Association of the need for a panel list of arbitrators, court papers show.

On May 28 City Attorney Tyrone Cooper notified the AAA that it refused to "participate in binding arbitration," leaving the association no other option but to sue, the suit states.

"Plaintiff and defendant have mutually entered into a binding collective bargaining agreement," the suit states. "Defendant is in breach of the CBA by virtue of its refusal to participate in binding arbitration, as called for by the CBA."

The association is asking 172nd District Judge Donald Floyd to award it declaratory judgment for enforcement of the CBA and attorney's fees.

The BPOA is represented by Combined Law Enforcement Agencies of Texas attorney Mitch Adams.

Case No. E187-102

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