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Thread: cops don't need to be honest

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    Regular Member OrangeIsTrouble's Avatar
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    Didn't they mention he has mental-health issues????
    They want to put him back behind the badge???
    Porn in police computers?? No wonder they sit in their patrol cars for hours.


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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    OMFG!

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    How canany citzen have respect for a LE agency that has no legal right to be honest?

    Sheriff Boyer should be fired immediately unless he institutes immediate action to impose such an obligation on his department in a legally enforceable manner.



    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely....





    Friday, October 30, 2009 - Page updated at 01:01 AM


    Court orders reinstatement of fired deputy
    By Mike Carter

    Seattle Times staff reporter


    A divided state Supreme Court has found that there is no "public policy" requiring a police officer to be honest.

    In a ruling issued Thursday, the court voted 5-3 to overturn a Court of Appeals decision that had upheld the 2001 firing of Kitsap County sheriff's Deputy Brian LaFrance for lying and neglecting his caseload. The high court ordered that LaFrance be reinstated.

    The ruling sparked a sharp comment from Justice James Johnson, who wrote that he must "dissent from a majority that fails to discern the strong public policy against employing police officers with serious, documented dishonesty and misconduct."

    The nuanced opinion deals particularly with a clause found in many, if not most, Washington state police and sheriff's union contracts that sends disputed disciplinary cases to binding arbitration.

    LaFrance was fired after an internal investigation determined that he had failed to work cases, including a homicide and child- pornography case, and then repeatedly lied to his supervisor and investigators about it. Investigators found case files scattered in the trunk of his car, and say LaFrance also downloaded pornography onto a police computer in violation of department policy.

    The case went to arbitration, and the arbitrator — while upholding the findings that LaFrance committed 29 separate incidents of misconduct — said the department failed to take into account his mental-health issues and determined that termination was too harsh a punishment.

    The arbitrator ordered the Sheriff's Office to reinstate LaFrance after he passed a fit-for-duty exam.

    LaFrance was returned to the patrol division.

    The Sheriff's Office then fired him again in 2005, this time on the advice of county prosecutors who said LaFrance could no longer be a reliable witness in any criminal case because his history of dishonesty.

    In the majority opinion, Justice Susan Owens wrote that the Supreme Court is reluctant to review arbitration decisions. One exception is when the decision violates "an explicit, well-defined and dominant public policy."

    And that didn't happen in LaFrance's case, the justices wrote, because there is no clear public policy in Washington requiring police to be honest.

    "There is no code, no state law, that makes it a dominant policy" that could be used to justify overturning the arbitration decision, said Jim Cline, LaFrance's Seattle attorney.

    But that doesn't mean a police department can't enforce its internal policies against dishonesty, just as Kitsap County did when it fired LaFrance. But those are not the sort of dominant public policies the court says it will require to overturn an arbitrated settlement, he said.

    The state Attorney General's Office filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, representing prosecutors concerned about how to deal with dishonest cops as witnesses. When LaFrance was fired in 2005, the reason was that the county prosecutor said he could not be a reliable witness because his untruthful past will come up in every case he's involved in.

    But the high court said even that issue does't rise to the level of public policy that would warrant overturning the arbitrator's decision to give LaFrance his job back.

    "There is no explicit (or even implicit) statement regarding the continued employment of an officer found to be untruthful," Owens wrote. "Even if we were to agree that the arbitrator's decision was not good public policy and thought LaFrance's reinstatement distasteful, the county has failed to cite any ... public policy vacating this award."

    Sheriff Steve Boyer said he hadn't determined what the department's next step would be.

    Assistant Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney Jacquelyn Aufderheide said LaFrance has not worked in the office since 2005.


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    That's been the case for a very long time, so long as the lie is not coercion (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bi...&invol=528), it's allowed.
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    Tawnos wrote:
    That's been the case for a very long time, so long as the lie is not coercion (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bi...=372&invol=528), it's allowed.
    Wrong type of dishonest Tawnos. The case in the OP is about an officer being fired for dishonesty. Not for lying to get a confession, which as you stated is allowable. These are two separate things.

    Also it is not the Sheriff that is to blame, it is the lack of policy at a state level that is the problem. The court stated this in the case when they said the County Policy was not a dominant public policy and therefore the penalty was to severe for the actions, or lack of, of the deputy.

    I am willing to bet that the legislature rectifies this problem by creating a dominant public policy that deals with dishonesty of a public servant.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    joeroket wrote:
    Tawnos wrote:
    That's been the case for a very long time, so long as the lie is not coercion (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=372&invol=528), it's allowed.
    Wrong type of dishonest Tawnos. The case in the OP is about an officer being fired for dishonesty. Not for lying to get a confession, which as you stated is allowable. These are two separate things.

    Also it is not the Sheriff that is to blame, it is the lack of policy at a state level that is the problem. The court stated this in the case when they said the County Policy was not a dominant public policy and therefore the penalty was to severe for the actions, or lack of, of the deputy.

    I am willing to bet that the legislature rectifies this problem by creating a dominant public policy that deals with dishonesty of a public servant.
    They'll probably take the easier way out and put this guy on desk duty somewhere where he can have no adverse affect on any pending cases. Maybe he can work the bay doors at the jail.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Yep but don't dare lie to a cop.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    If I were in the LE profession I would be so very pi$$ed off by this...
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    joeroket wrote:
    Also it is not the Sheriff that is to blame, it is the lack of policy at a state level that is the problem. The court stated this in the case when they said the County Policy was not a dominant public policy and therefore the penalty was to severe for the actions, or lack of, of the deputy.

    I am willing to bet that the legislature rectifies this problem by creating a dominant public policy that deals with dishonesty of a public servant.
    It's not the fault of Sheriff Steve Boyer that the state doesn't have the required dominant public policy. But it is Boyer's responsibility to run a department that meets the needs of the public. Runing a police department where none of the sworn officers, including himself, have a statutory requirement to be honest renders it unacceptably powerful and with no credibility.

    If Boyer has been handed a situation that is as unacceptable as this,he must fix it immediately-by some kind of departmental order or valid edict. Waiting for the state to fix it might take years.

    If Boyer doesn't do something to restore credibility to his department, he should be fired. That's assuming he doesn't take the honorable and ethicialroute and resign. I mean, what kind of professional would run an organization where its employees, with the power of life and death over citizens, would have no responsiblitiy to be honest?


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    Regular Member Johnny Law's Avatar
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    deepdiver wrote:
    If I were in the LE profession I would be so very pi$$ed off by this...
    I am, and I am.

    Incidents like thiskill morale in a PD like nothing else. It's bad enough what the guy was doing in the first place, but when they get their jobs back it pisses off everyone else that has to work with him.

    Just remember that good cops (the majority) don't want guys like this on the street either, as it is an embarassment to everyone in the Dept.
    Cops are only human and these things are going to occasionaly happen, but people like this need to be canned immediately, as the public's trust is further compromised every day they are out on the street.

    Boyer needs to step up and do the right thing, and fire him again. This type of behavior may be acceptable in some professions, but it has no place in Law Enforcement.
    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    Interesting. I used to read Supreme Court opinion more frequently but have gotten lazy of late.

    The Dissent authored by James Johnson and concurred by Gerry Alexander and Pro-tem Teresa Kulik is well reasoned. What surprises me is that another Justice that I respect for their jurisprudence is Richard Sanders who signedthe majority.

    Keep an eye out for Teresa C. Kulik if future Supreme Court elections. Things like this are a good indicatorfor support.

    If interested, the Majorityand Dissent, but the links will be dead after 11/12/09. They only keep recent opinions online for two weeks, if memory serves correct.

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    ...therefore the penalty was to severe for the actions, or lack of, of the deputy.
    It wasn't even that strong, if I read it correctly. It's that the actions weren't a clear enough violation of public policy to warrant overriding the binding arbitrator's decision in favor of reinstatement.

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    sudden valley gunner wrote:
    Yep but don't dare lie to a cop.
    It's hard to lie to a cop if you don't talk to them at all. Remember, they've almost always decided whether or not you're going to jail before they walk up to you, and anything you say is just going to give them the ammunition they need to do that.

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    kparker wrote:
    ...therefore the penalty was to severe for the actions, or lack of, of the deputy.
    It wasn't even that strong, if I read it correctly.* It's that the actions weren't a clear enough violation of public policy to warrant overriding the binding arbitrator's decision in favor of reinstatement.*
    If you read the appellate court decision you will see where this was the arbitrators finding. They found that he had clearly violated the policies as accused but that the penalty did not match the violations.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    HankT wrote:
    joeroket wrote:
    Also it is not the Sheriff that is to blame, it is the lack of policy at a state level that is the problem. The court stated this in the case when they said the County Policy was not a dominant public policy and therefore the penalty was to severe for the actions, or lack of, of the deputy.

    I am willing to bet that the legislature rectifies this problem by creating a dominant public policy that deals with dishonesty of a public servant.
    It's not the fault of Sheriff Steve Boyer that the state doesn't have the required dominant public policy. But it is Boyer's responsibility to run a department that meets the needs of the public. Runing a police department where none of the sworn officers, including himself, have a statutory requirement to be honest renders it unacceptably powerful and with no credibility.

    If Boyer has been handed a situation that is as unacceptable as this,*he must fix it immediately-by some kind of departmental order or valid edict.* Waiting for the state to fix it might take years.

    If Boyer doesn't do something to restore credibility to his department, he should be fired. That's assuming he doesn't take the honorable and ethicial*route and resign.* I mean, what kind of professional would run an organization where its employees, with the power of life and death over citizens, would have no responsiblitiy to be honest?

    *
    Kitsap had a policy preventing this type of behavior and made it a terminable offense. It was the finding of the court that the policy of Kitsap was not a dominant public policy and therefore could not be used to terminate a publicly employed person. Because of this there is nothing that Boyer can do to rectify it, the repair to this lack of dominant policy needs to come from the state level so that it will be a dominant public policy.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    They should stick this "officer" in the crapiest duties at the department and limit his interface with the public, make him wanna quit, and make sure that any other department he would ever apply to in the future knows about his continued behavior.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    sudden valley gunner wrote:
    They should stick this "officer" in the crapiest duties at the department and limit his interface with the public, make him wanna quit, and make sure that any other department he would ever apply to in the future knows about his continued behavior.
    His fellow officers need to have a "conversation" with him, and help him understand the possible in-house consequences of his actions.

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