Union Files Complaint Against Chief Who Made Off-Duty Arrest
April 19, 2011
Scranton, Penn. — The Scranton police union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the city for an off-duty drug arrest made by Police Chief Dan Duffy in March.
The complaint, which was filed with the state Labor Relations Board on April 14, takes issue with the chief arresting a man who was allegedly in possession of marijuana because the chief is not a member of the collective bargaining unit and was “off duty” when the March 20 arrest was made.
“I think it’s absurd. I’m not going to turn my head on crime that takes place,” Chief Duffy said. "I took the same oath (as a police officer) that everyone else took.
“On my day off and I’m driving around as the police chief, and that’s wrong?” he asked.
The complaint states that “the work of apprehending and arresting individuals has been the sole and exclusive province of members of the bargaining unit,” and that the city did not inform or negotiate with the union that the chief would be “performing bargaining unit work.”
Because of this, the union says the city violated the state Labor Relations Act and the Policemen and Firemen Collective Bargaining Act.
“We’re not out to bust his chops,” Sgt. Bob Martin, police union president, said. “It’s not against the chief. The action is against the city.”
Mayor Chris Doherty declined to comment on the matter Monday.
While the chief has been known for several off-duty arrests in the city, the complaint only makes mention of the March 20 incident.