Thursday, October 25, 2012

MoCo Police Union Calls for Resignation of County Exec Ike Leggett's Spokesperson // Question B Fight Gets Personal

The Gazette is reporting that Montgomery County's police union (FOP Lodge 35) is calling for the resignation of County Executive Ike Leggett's spokesperson Patrick Lacefield. The two sides are at odds over MoCo's Question B referendum, which calls for an elimination of "effects bargaining" rights for police union members. See an excerpt from The Gazette article, followed by information from the FOP's "vote against" Question B website:
GAZETTE: Lanny Davis, who is representing Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35, asked Leggett (D) to ask for Patrick Lacefield’s resignation. Lacefield is the county director of the Office of Public Information....

In defending the county’s actions, Lacefield said the county was following a similar plan from 2010, when a proposed fee for ambulance services was being debated. The county, with an OK from the Attorney General’s Office, advocated for the ambulance fee, spending about $12,000 in county funds. Lacefield said former FOP president Mark Zifcak supported the county’s actions in 2010.
That Zifcak supported spending public money, Davis said, is a lie. That the county truly advocated support of the question is a lie, he said.... When asked his reaction to Davis’ call for his resignation, Lacefield said, “Just doing my job” — a job he called an “honor.

FOP ALLEGES COUNTY IS LYING ABOUT QUESTION B: The FOP, for what its worth, has released a website countering the Montgomery County "vote for" Question B site, that alleges MoCo is lying about the impact of "effects bargaining." Maryland Juice pulled out the first two items on their rebuttal below, but you can see their full roster of rebuttals online.

Ike Leggit's Claims
"Under "effects bargaining," Police Chief Tom Manger has to bargain everything about running his department with Police Union leaders. "This is a bald-face lie. In fact, 95% of all police department operations are not subject to AN Y bargaining. Under existing law, the County must bargain over ONLY the effect on employees of an exercise of a management right. Most management decisions do not have an effect. Without triggering effects bargaining FOP members in Montgomery County have been able to effectively perform their jobs, including:
  • Responding to the Beltway sniper
  • Responding to Discovery Channel bomber Relocating MCP
  • Headquarters and Rockville District Station.
  • The investigation of 62,944 crimes reported in 2011
  • The investigation of 58,081 crimes reported in 20II realizing a 7.7% reduction in crime from the previous year
"That includes the distribution of critical
police equipment, ... "
The law as it is provides that when there is a significant effect on the safety of the public, the employer may implement before resolving effects bargaining. The police depaltment has never had to do so. Agreement has always been reached.

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