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Published: Tuesday, 4/28/2009

Decision expected Friday on temporary restraining order to halt command officer layoffs

BLADE STAFF

A Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge said he will make his decision by the end of the business day Friday on whether the City of Toledo can lay off 20 command officers before a grievance over the matter is arbitrated.

Judge Frederick McDonald heard nearly three hours of testimony during a hearing Tuesday to help him decide on whether to grant a temporary restraining order blocking the city from laying off command officers. The Toledo Police Command Officer Association filed the motion last week, claiming that the intended layoffs violate the union's contract.

The union claimed in its complaint that the city violated its contract when the city sent layoff notices to about 20 command officers that would go into effect on Friday. A subsequent grievance was filed and now union officials claim that the city cannot proceed until an arbitrator is able to decide the issue.

The union asked the court to "maintain the status quo with respect for contractually required manning levels pending arbitration."

In response, the city said it will have to make up for the costs of not laying off the command officers by laying off more patrol officers. The city sent layoff notices last month to 130 patrol officers, 20 command officers, and 17 civilian members of the police department.



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