TMPA Issues Statement on Local Press Coverage of
EUPOA Lawsuit Against City of Edinburg
Comments have been made about the suit that simply are not true.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Tonight, Kevin Lawrence, Executive Director of the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) released the following statement on the local coverage of the Edinburg United Police Officers Association's lawsuit against the City of Edinburg:
"A few weeks ago, the Monitor printed a story about a lawsuit that has been filed against the City of Edinburg by the Edinburg United Police Officers Association (EUPOA). Comments have been made about the suit that simply are not true. We want to make sure that the facts of this matter do not get lost in the politically motivated rhetoric.
Since early 2019, EUPOA board members have been subjected to adverse job actions due to their decisions and allegiance to EUPOA. Four of those board members received legal representation through TMPA, and as pointed out in the lawsuit, the actions against two of them were eventually corrected either through the civil service appeal process or through the courts.
However, the other two have not been allowed their due process – their day in court so to speak. Their avenue of appeal was to file grievances under the collective bargaining contract. It is very important to understand that the last step in that grievance process is to go to arbitration. Both appeals went through the process and neither was resolved, so the union made the appropriate requests to take both to arbitration, and the city has steadfastly refused.
Ergo, the lawsuit – not a personal vendetta, and certainly not the cause of tainting of any relationship. The tainting of the relationship was done long before that, and it was not done by the officers filing the lawsuit.
By refusing to arbitrate these grievances, the city has committed a breach of contract, and the only legal recourse now available is this lawsuit. As attorney David Willis has stated, the city can make the lawsuit go away by simply agreeing to comply with the terms of the existing contract. The due process of any officer associated with any union should be protected and defended. Any infringement on any officer's right to that due process hurts all officers. TMPA and EUPOA will always support and defend our members' rights.
A question has been raised about the timing of this lawsuit, how it might impact the renegotiation of the collective bargaining agreement which is supposed to happen this year. The answer is simple, what good is the contract at all if one party is free to simply ignore and violate it when they choose?
As we move forward, TMPA and EUPOA will remain committed to working with the City of Edinburg in good faith for the betterment of ALL Edinburg Police Officers."