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Illinois State Police v. Fraternal Order of Police Troopers Lodge No. 41

June 28, 2001

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE TROOPERS LODGE NO. 41, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 99MR331 Honorable Thomas R. Appleton, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cook

Not Released For Publication

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE TROOPERS LODGE NO. 41, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.

Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 99MR331 Honorable Thomas R. Appleton, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cook

In August 1999, plaintiff, the Illinois State Police, filed a three-count complaint for vacatur of an arbitration award that sustained the grievances brought by defendant, the Fraternal Order of Police Troopers Lodge No. 41. In April 2000, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, and in June 2000, plaintiff filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. After an August 2000 hearing on the summary judgment motions, the trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment and affirmed the arbitrator's decision.

 On appeal, plaintiff argues that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to defendant because (1) the arbitrator exceeded his authority by (a) ruling that plaintiff cannot interrogate its employees regarding criminal matters without first providing written notice and other protections afforded by the parties' collective-bargaining agreement (contract), and (b) ignoring the plain language of the contract; and (2) the arbitrator's award violates the public policies favoring (a) effective law enforcement and (b) equal protection. We reverse and remand with directions.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff maintains a division of internal investigation (Division) that is responsible for investigations, both criminal and non-criminal, of misconduct committed by plaintiff's employees. The Division makes an initial assessment of the allegations and determines whether the case involves criminal conduct. If criminal conduct is involved, then the investigation proceeds as a criminal investigation. If no criminal conduct is involved, the Division investigates the case administratively.

In August 1994, plaintiff and defendant signed a contract that was effective from July 1, 1994, to June 30, 1997. According to the parties, that agreement remained in effect until December 19, 1997, when the parties entered another collective-bargaining agreement. Article 7 of the contract, entitled "Officer's Bill of Rights," provided guidelines for conducting investigations of nonprobationary officers where the investigation could result in "discipline." Under article 7, an internal investigation cannot be conducted unless a file initiation report has been filed. Furthermore, at least 24 hours prior to an interrogation, plaintiff must inform the officer of the following:

"(1) the identity of the officer conducting the interrogation; (2) the identity of all persons present during the interrogation; (3) the nature of the complaint and pertinent facts alleged; (4) the names of the complainants known at the time of the interrogation; (5) his statutory administrative proceedings rights if the allegation under investigation indicates that a recommendation for a discharge, demotion, or a suspension in excess of summary punishment is probable against that officer; and/or (6) his constitutional rights concerning self-incrimination if the allegation under investigation indicates that criminal prosecution is probable against that officer."

The officer is also entitled to have counsel present or defendant's representative present during the interrogation.

In October 1997, Division officers interviewed Trooper Phil Krpan as part of a criminal investigation of allegations that Trooper Krpan and his wife were involved in an insurance fraud scheme. At the beginning of the interview, Trooper Krpan signed a statement of constitutional rights and waiver form, acknowledging that he had been advised of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966). Because the matter was a criminal investigation, the Division officers did not comply with article 7 of the contract. At the conclusion of the investigation, the State did not file charges against Trooper Krpan, and plaintiff did not take any disciplinary action against Trooper Krpan. That same month, Trooper Krpan submitted a grievance, claiming plaintiff violated the contract by interviewing him on October 8, 1997, as part of a criminal violation without following the procedures in sections 1 and 2 of article 7.

Also, in October 1997, Division officers interviewed Trooper Travis Jones in a criminal investigation regarding inappropriate sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl. Trooper Jones signed the statement of constitutional rights and waiver form, but plaintiffs did not afford him his article 7 rights. During the interview, ...


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