In September 2015, we posted an “In Focus” article on a remarkably thorough and interesting court-ordered study that focused on the arbitration of police disciplinary cases in Oakland, California (see, The Arbitration of Police Discipline).
In Oakland Police Accountability Ballot Measure Faces Possible Death by Delay Tactics, the East Bay Express reports on additional developments related to our earlier post. According to the article, a ballot measure that seeks to eliminate binding arbitration and, instead, establish a police commissions was dealt a serious setback that might ultimately prevents its passage.
In reference to the court-ordered study, the Express notes that, in part, the ballot measure is based on the findings of the study that criticized the arbitration process because it “allowed police officers to overturn discipline.”
As the East Bay Express notes, the report was critical about the process that ultimately led to disciplinary measures being overturned in arbitration. However, as we understand it, the report did not criticize any decision by an arbitrator. Instead, the report focused on the poor preparation and presentation of cases in arbitration by the city attorney. The report noted, too, that since some of its interim recommendations had been implemented, the city started winning cases. The message in a nutshell was: the output is only as good as the input.