Judge overturns arbitrator's decision to reinstate Yakima Police Officer
Yakima, WA - A superior court judge overturns an arbitrator's ruling to reinstate a fired Yakima Police Officer.
The Yakima Police Patrolman's Association had argued that Officer Mike Rummel was originally fired in retaliation for its disagreement with Police Chief Sam Granato over random drug testing.
Yakima City Manager Dick Zais issued this statement:
"Given the record of events regarding alcohol, misconduct and Rummel's failure to comply with the conditions of a last chance agreement, Judge Thompson's ruling supports the city's position that Officer Rummel is unworthy of serving as a police officer."
YPPA President, Bob Hester, says he was stunned by the judge's decision since the arbitration was binding.
"When it was ruled that there was some information and he vacated the ruling, I was quite frankly very surprised," says Hester, "This deals with laws of the State of Washington, which are supposed to be binding and final."
The judge's ruling hinged on information surrounding a particular incident that he believed was incorrect when the arbitrator made his decision to reinstate Rummel.
That information had to do with a phone call Rummel made to his ex-girlfriend when he was an officer at the Yakima Police Department.
She also worked at the department and has a restraining order against him, which is set to expire later this month.
Hester says he plans to go through the decision with union lawyers and an appeal is a possibility.