Miami-Dade police union sues over layoffs

Police Benevolent Association files grievances, lawsuits

DORAL, Fla. - A week after dozens of Miami-Dade police officers were handed pink slips, the officers' union fired back with a lawsuit and grievances against Miami-Dade County. 

The Police Benevolent Association's 13 grievances alleged that Mayor Carlos Gimenez violated county and state law. 

In the grievances, the union requests "that Mayor Gimenez withdraw his illegal and improper veto" regarding the officers contributing more to their health care fund. It also asks that "layoffs be rescinded … members be returned to their previously held positions" and that they receive "reimbursement of all pay and benefits."

The union is also asking for "demotions to be rescinded" and that those employees be "returned to their previously held positions."

In the lawsuit, the PBA alleged that the "county has breached its duty to permit inspection of public records," saying Miami-Dade County is not giving the union the document it needs when negotiating with the county. 

"If there's one thing that we can commend of this mayor, is that he singlehandedly has destroyed what has been referred to as the best police department in the United States of America," said John Rivera, of the PBA.
"This is a mess, and if the people still believe that services are not going to be cut, I hate to say this: They're foolish."

The mayor's office would only say it is reviewing the documents. The mayor would not comment.

The grievances and lawsuit came after the layoffs of 131 officers were announced last week as Miami-Dade County tries to fill an $18 million budget gap. 

The grievances and the lawsuit will not affect the layoffs, which will happen in a few weeks. The only thing that could stop the layoffs is a decision by Miami-Dade County commissioners at a Jan. 24 meeting.

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