The NOPD promoted 18 sergeants to lieutenant and 8 police officers to sergeant on July 24, 2015. Many people have inquired about lawsuits and appeals regarding these promotions. The Crescent City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police is taking the following actions.
On Saturday, July 25, 2015, the FOP filed a petition with Civil District Court. That petition is styled “Crescent City Lodge No. 2, Fraternal Order of Police, Inc. and its Members through its President, Walter Powers, Jr., Ray Byrd, and Damond S. Harris versus City of New Orleans and City Civil Service Commission for the City of New Orleans.” A copy of the petition can be seen by clicking here. It is not necessary for anyone else to be listed as a plaintiff. I appreciate all of the calls from people who would like to be part of the lawsuit, but you already are. The gist of the lawsuit is that the changes made to the Civil Service Rules as a result of the Great Place to Work Initiative are unconstitutional. If the Court declares the Rules unconstitutional, it will necessitate a revision of the rules to cure that defect and those rules apply to all classified employees.
Individual officers have the right to file an appeal with Civil Service under Rule VI, Sec. 6.1, which reads as follows:
If any qualified candidate or employee, whose name appears on a verified appointment or promotional list, believes that his appointment, allocation or promotion has been improperly denied, he may protest the denial of such by presenting such forms or documents as the Director may prescribe. The Director, or any person designated by him, may hold special hearings to determine the facts of each case and the Director shall make his decision on the basis of the written statements and forms presented by the employee and on the facts brought out in the hearing. The employee shall have the right to appeal to the Commission if dissatisfied with the action of the Director.
If you are interested in filing an individual appeal under Rule VI, Sec. 6.1, feel free to contact me, Claude Schlesinger, or Ted Alpaugh. You will need to collect some documentation to support your claim. I am currently recommending the following documentation: annual performance evaluations, an up-to-date resume, special training certifications, or any other documentation that would lead to the conclusion that you are more qualified to be a police lieutenant than folks further down the list. You can discuss these options further with your FOP attorney.
To date, there has never been an appeal based on this rule. This rule is new. With the old rules regarding promotions which included the rule of 3, there was never a need to appeal be passed over for promotion. The rules were fairly clear and you could only be skipped for specific reasons. The new rules, which eliminate the rule of 3, inject subjectivity into a system that was designed to be ruled by objectivity.
The appeals will initially be made to the Personnel Director, who is presently Lisa Hudson. Appeals of Ms. Hudson’s decisions will be made to the Civil Service Commission and appeals of those decisions will be made to the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal. There are no identified time limitations on filing an appeal, but I would recommend filing ASAP.
You can pose any additional questions you may have in the comments section. If it is a question you do not want everyone else to be able to see, you can call me or use the below form: