Mayor Facing Contempt Charges in Faceoff With Firefighters

The mayor of Taylor, Michigan is headed to court, and not by his own choosing. Mayor Jeffery Lamarand is facing charges of contempt of court for refusing to comply with a 2012 arbitration ruling over the layoff of 32 firefighters.

The arbitrator concluded the city violated the collective bargaining agreement with Taylor Professional Fire Firefighters’ Local 1252 by laying off 32 of the department’s 53 firefighters. He awarded the firefighters over $730,000 in damages.

When the city failed to make the required payment, the firefighters filed suit to enforce the arbitrator’s ruling. On October 15, 2013, Wayne County Circuit Court ordered the city to pay the $730,000.

According to the News-Herald, the city claims it plans to pay the $730,000, but over a five-year period. Documents filed by the union with the court state: “Neither the arbitration awards nor the court’s order provided for a five-year timetable for the city to pay amounts owed under the arbitration awards. Neither the arbitration awards nor the court’s order made any provision for delayed compliance on a timetable unilaterally determined by the city administration.”

The mayor is scheduled to appear in Wayne County Circuit Court on November 15, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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