On May 23, 2014, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied a Petition for Review, filed by Waukesha County, which sought review of a Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision in favor of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. The court of appeals had held that a Waukesha County deputy sheriff had the right to seek an impartial arbitrator’s review of the County’s termination of his employment, even though a County-appointed grievance committee had already denied the deputy’s grievance. The County had argued, unsuccessfully, to the court of appeals that the deputy lost the right to arbitration of his grievance when he asked the County committee for review of the circumstances surrounding that termination. In asking for review of the court of appeals’ decision, the County argued that the supreme court should restrict deputy sheriff’s employment rights in the same way that the legislature has restricted the rights of municipal police officers, who may only seek review before a local police and fire commission. The supreme court’s denial of the County’s petition for review means that the WPPA and its member may now pursue review of his termination through an independent, impartial arbitrator who has no affiliation with the County.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals’ opinion may be found at the following link: https://www.wicourts.gov/ca/opinion/DisplayDocument.html?content=html&seqNo=106754
Attorneys Aaron Halstead and Colin Good represented the WPPA and its member in briefs filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.