Fifteen women who had complained about Barlow testified at the arbitration hearing. in a store where she worked, purchased alcoholic beverages for A. The district court denied the city's motion and confirmed the arbitrator's decision.
The arbitrator found some claims to be stale but made findings of fact as to other claims, including the following:• on two or three occasions in 1990, Barlow followed 19-year-old P. home from her school in his squad car without a valid reason for doing so;• in 1990, Barlow, while in uniform, visited 20-year-old A. ISSUEDespite finding that a terminated municipal police officer had engaged in a pattern of offensive and predatory conduct toward women for over ten years, an arbitrator awarded to the officer reinstatement of his law enforcement employment.
In effect, we must analyze the matter as though the labor agreement contractually calls for Barlow's reinstatement.
During the investigation the city obtained from its police department records containing complaints against Barlow by more than 30 women. at a store where she worked and persistently asked her on dates while he was in uniform and also pulled her over in his squad car to say hello.
The city then hired an independent investigator to inquire into the complaints. In declining to consider “stale” claims, the arbitrator noted that “[i]t is clear that much of [Barlow's] conduct * * * was predatory and intolerable in a police officer.” The arbitrator then commented: The City is correct in alleging that there is a pattern of conduct by Officer Barlow going back over ten years which is, in aggregate, offensive, inconsistent with a proper public image for Brooklyn Center police officers, and a violation of a host of rules, regulations, statutes, and orders.
Ivy, Carver, MN, for amicus curiae Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. Richards, Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project, Minneapolis, MN, for amici curiae Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project, Chrysalis-A Center for Women, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. OPINIONThrough his union, Law Enforcement Legal Services, Inc. Barlow filed a grievance as to the City of Brooklyn Center's decision to terminate him and the matter was submitted to arbitration. Barlow began working as a police officer for appellant City of Brooklyn Center in 1988.
Paul, MN, for amicus curiae League of Minnesota Cities. Jones, Faegre & Benson LLP, Minneapolis, MN; and Elizabeth J. Paul, MN, for amicus curiae Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. The question of public policy is ultimately one for resolution by the courts, W.
In 1993, a female employee of the Brooklyn Center police department filed a complaint against Barlow with the Hennepin County sheriff, alleging that Barlow committed criminal sexual conduct against her.
The arbitrator reinstated Barlow and the city moved that the district court vacate the award. The city appeals, contending that the arbitrator's award should be vacated based on the “public policy exception.” In the alternative, the city argues that the arbitrator exceeded his powers. Throughout his employment, until 1991, his job-performance evaluations were favorable and he received letters of commendation. Hennepin County prosecuted Barlow on Amanda Miller's complaint, but a jury found him not guilty on March 27, 1998. “As with any contract, however, a court may not enforce a collective-bargaining agreement that is contrary to public policy.” W. The county attorney declined to prosecute any of the complaints from the women who called in response to the police chief's request, explaining that “a large portion of these activities are beyond the seven year statute of limitations period.”After Barlow's acquittal, Brooklyn Center conducted an internal investigation of Barlow's conduct. Brooklyn Center accepted the recommendation and terminated Barlow on November 16, 1999. for dates, and on at least one occasion made disparaging comments about J. R.'s boyfriend;• between 19, Barlow had a few encounters with S. Accordingly, he reinstated Barlow without back pay, noting that the intervening period would effectively serve as a very long suspension, which would constitute appropriate discipline commensurate with the seriousness of Barlow's conduct. Barlow filed a grievance through LELS and the union demanded arbitration. (not knowing her age), and on one occasion took her to a park and began groping her breasts but stopped when she asked him to do so;• on several occasions in 1991, while in uniform, Barlow stopped at a store in a local mall, asked J. N., obtained her home telephone number by running her license plate numbers without her consent or request, stopped at her house on at least one occasion while in uniform and made a comment that she should not go on dates with other men and that she “should be making beautiful babies” with Barlow;• in 1997, Barlow took R. on an unauthorized ride-along in a squad car, gave her a copy of her driver's record even though she had not asked him to obtain it, and in a phone conversation told her the color of her bathroom tile even though he had never been invited to her home, to her knowledge, conduct which the arbitrator stated “may have” violated criminal law in Minn. Brooklyn Center moved in district court to vacate the arbitrator's award, alleging that the award was against public policy and that the arbitrator exceeded his powers. at 2183, and therefore we need not show deference to the district court's conclusion.