MIAMI (CBS4)- The Dade County Police Benevolent Association, a union that represents police officers, has filed a lawsuit in response to layoffs ordered by the mayor.
The association’s lawsuit is not requesting a judge to block the terminations of some 300 police officers and correctional officers, but it could provide a fodder for a legal effort to save the jobs.
According to the PBA, the legal actions were taken against the county due to “clear and blatant violations of the contractual agreements between the PBA and the County which govern layoff and demotion procedures.”
Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered the layoffs after county commissioners refused to impose deeper pay cuts on officers to balance the county’s budget.
The union wants a court to order the county to present them with public records it says they have been asking for without success.
In a statement the PBA said, “Getting public records from the County is like pulling teeth. This is indicative of the many hurdles we have faced during our entire bargaining process, and the lack of transparency from the Mayor’s office. We’ve either been given misinformation or the county has stonewalled on handing over public records.”
The presumption is the union is looking for records that could help it mount a legal challenge to the layoffs themselves.
According to the PBA, it will be taking further legal actions against the county in days to come.
“This Mayor has a pattern of doing whatever he wants to get his way regardless of the ramifications to officers and our community. He acts like he is above the law so he doesn’t follow it,” said PBA president John Rivera.
A spokesperson for the mayor said he will have to review the lawsuit before commenting on it.