Jefferson County sues Constables Association over arbitrator's decision

David Yates Nov. 28, 2011, 7:55am

Seeking a judicial review of an arbitrator's "far-reaching" ruling, Jefferson County is suing the Jefferson County Deputy Constables Association.

The suit was filed Nov. 23 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the petition, a dispute arose after the county abolished several deputy constable positions. The JCDCA contended the action violated the collective bargaining agreement and the matter went into arbitration Sept. 13.

On Nov. 9 an arbitrator issued an opinion with the following findings:

  • The parties shall meet and negotiate to agree on the seniority ranking of the deputy constables to determine which constables should be reinstated and in what order;

  • The county shall reinstate those deputy constables laid off and pay the back wages in order of their seniority;

  • And the arbitrator shall retain jurisdiction for 30 days to resolve any dispute over the payment of back wages.

    In its suit, the county contends that the arbitrator lacked the jurisdiction "to render an award so far-reaching and intrusive on the sovereign governmental responsibilities of the Jefferson County Commissioners Court."

    The county further argues that the evidence found in the record does not support the award and is asking the court to vacate the decision.

    Assistant District Attorneys Steven Wiggins and Phillip Babin represent the county.

    Judge Gary Sanderson, 6oth District Court, is assigned to the case.

    Case No. B191-390

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