Cash-strapped North Las Vegas will have to pay for improperly firing a police officer.
The Local Government Employee Management Relations Board, a government entity that handles disagreements between employers and employees, on Thursday found the city guilty of a prohibited labor practice.
The city attempted to cherry pick its disciplinary process in an effort to block Timothy Frabbiele from contesting his firing, according to the order.
North Las Vegas must now reinstate Frabbiele, foot the bill for his seven-year legal battle and give him back pay.
Frabbiele’s attorney Adam Levine said he would expect the total payout to be more than $500,000.
Frabbiele’s firing stemmed from a parking ticket. In May 2007, he spotted an illegally parked car, which belonged to an acquaintance’s estranged husband. He told another officer, and the pair agreed Frabbiele would issue the ticket, which the other officer signed, the order says.
The husband complained and the department launched an internal affairs investigation. Frabbiele was labeled dishonest and sacked.
He had been a member of the force since July 2006 and had no prior problems.
“It’s been a long uphill fight to get justice for officer Frabbiele,” said Levine. “Officer Frabbiele looks forward to being returned to active duty status and serving the citizens of North Las Vegas who are desperately short law enforcement officers.”
Frabbiele doesn’t go back to automatically being an active duty officer.
The order required the city to put Frabbiele on paid administrative leave, because that was his status when the city veered from policy. Any number of things could happen from there. The city could relaunch its investigation or just let him get back to work.
Records indicate that North Las Vegas had spent more than $60,000 fighting the case as of February 2010. After that date the case went to Clark County District Court, the Nevada Supreme Court and then back to the Employee Management Relations Board.
“The City received the Order in this matter this afternoon. We are currently reviewing the Order and determining our legal options,” North Las Vegas Chief Deputy City Attorney Bethany Rudd Sanchez said in a prepared statement.
Contact Bethany Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3861. Follow @betsbarnes on Twitter.