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Carmel police officer discharged for just cause

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the finding by an administrative law judge and a review board that a city of Carmel police officer was fired, but not for just cause.

In City of Carmel v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Greg Park, 93A02-1108-EX-841, the city of Carmel appealed the finding that patrol officer Greg Park was not fired for cause. Park applied for unemployment benefits following his discharge in February 2011. The Carmel Police Department believed Park had violated department policies, rules and regulations. Cited was Park’s arrest of a juvenile involved in a fight at school with another juvenile. When Park arrived at the school, his superior officer told him to arrest just one of the juveniles. Park arrested the second juvenile, also.

Park filed for unemployment benefits, which was initially denied, but an administrative law judge reversed that determination. The administrative law judge cited that no evidence was submitted to indicate Park made a wrongful arrest of the second juvenile or that he knew an investigation was taking place regarding the incident at the school. The Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development affirmed.

The Court of Appeals found the record didn’t support the finding that Park was terminated but not for just cause. Based on the evidence and testimony before the ALJ and the review board, the city of Carmel showed that Park violated a reasonable and uniformly enforced rule related to a lawful order of a supervisor and other departmental rules, so he was discharged for just cause, wrote Judge Elaine Brown.

The case was remanded for further proceedings.

 

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