FOP: Police appointees violate residency rules

Threatens suit if law not enforced in 10 days

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

More than half of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officials selected as appointees rather than through a competitive hiring process are in violation of D.C. residency requirements, according to the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which has called for an investigation.

In letters Monday to D.C. Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby and Department of Human Resources (DCHR) Director Shawn Stokes, the FOP also said two appointments were in violation of D.C. law and questioned whether nepotism has factored into the hiring and advancement of some of the appointees, known as excepted service employees.

“Over the past year, the FOP has become aware of several inappropriate and potentially unlawful actions by the [MPD] with regard to executive compensation and excepted service personnel,” wrote Kristopher K. Baumann, chairman of the FOP, which represents 3,600 officers, detectives and sergeants. “The FOP brought these matters to the attention of both the [D.C. Council’s] Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety and Mayor Vincent Gray.

“Despite our requests for an investigation, and what appears to be admissions by the [MPD] of improper behavior, no action has apparently been taken,” he wrote. “To the FOP’s knowledge, no investigation was completed, no report has been issued, and no public acknowledgment of wrongdoing by any individuals has been made.”

The D.C. Code provides that only police officers at the rank of captain can be selected for sworn police excepted service positions. In addition to 220 such positions, the MPD is allowed to designate 1 percent of its total authorized positions as excepted service policy positions. No more than 10 policy positions may be filled by sworn members, the Baumann letter states.

The law says all excepted service employees are required to be residents of the District within 180 days of their appointment, and those employees must certify that the District is their principal place of residence.

Any excepted service employee who fails to meet the residency requirement within that time period must forfeit his or her position, according to the letter, which cites the D.C. Code. Forfeiture means the employee must be terminated, it states.

“The FOP is concerned that a number of excepted service personnel employed by the [MPD] are not in compliance with the domicile requirements,” Mr. Baumann wrote. “This includes sworn employees at the rank of inspector, commander and assistant chief and all civilian excepted service employees.”

Because the MPD has not published the names and positions of all of its excepted service employees, as required by law, Mr. Baumann said on Monday the FOP does not know the total number involved. In an attempt to determine exactly which excepted service personnel reside in the District, the FOP has submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to DCHR, he said in his letter to Ms. Stokes.

Mr. Baumann added that because the MPD considers all inspectors, commanders and assistant chiefs to be excepted service for purposes of summary demotions, it has boxed itself in with respect to the rules governing those employees.

“They have no argument left that these people are somehow exempt from the rules governing excepted service employees,” he said.

Late in the day on Monday, Mr. Baumann also wrote to Mr. Gray and D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan to request that they enforce the D.C. law within 10 days, after which the FOP intends to seek court action. Such action could cause upheaval within the ranks of the MPD because excepted service employees who reside outside the District cannot legitimately be paid, he said.

The FOP is requesting that the MPD disclose all excepted service employees who have been granted a waiver to reside outside the District, to determine that such waivers are appropriate.

Mr. Gray’s office did not return calls and emails seeking comment.

Assistant Chief Rodney Parks said MPD conducts an annual recertification and the most recent audit revealed no violations. He said all applicants are screened to ensure they meet the requirements of the position.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • The District of Columbia has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    D.C. police quietly prepping for change in law on marijuana

  • D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate David Catania, at large independent, said that although he had some concerns with the city's fiscal 2015 budget, namely the 'yoga tax,' he said issues could be addressed in next year's budget discussions. (Associated Press)

    Council overrides mayor’s veto of fiscal 2015 budget

  • 3 killed, 4 wounded Sunday in three D.C. shootings

  • D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser, one of seven Democrats trying to unseat the incumbent District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray in next week's primary, campaigns on Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, Thursday, March 27, 2014. Loyalists are rallying around the mayor, and few are writing him off. But his troubles have provided an opening for one of his challengers, and D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser appears to be taking advantage. Two polls released a week before the primary showed Bowser in a statistical tie with Gray.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    Crime hits close to home for D.C. mayoral candidate

  • Gray

    D.C. Council to vote on Gray’s budget veto