PORTLAND, Ore. – The City of Portland lost another battle in its effort to not re-hire an officer who was fired after shooting an unarmed man in January 2010.
The Oregon Employment Relations Board ruled on Friday that the city must adhere to an arbitrator’s decision and re-hire Ron Frashour.
Frashour shot and killed Aaron Campbell during an encounter outside Campbell’s apartment. After an investigation, Frashour was fired for his actions during the shooting.
Mayor Sam Adams has said Frashour “acted outside of police protocols for the use of deadly force.”
In March, an arbitrator ruled that Frashour should be reinstated; however, Adams and police Chief Mike Reese balked at the decision and said they would not re-hire him.
The police union filed a complaint against the city for not following the ruling and on Friday the Employment Relations Board sided with the union and said Frashour should be re-hired.
In its ruling, the board said the police bureau has to follow arbitrator’s order and reinstate Frashour within 30 days.
The city also must give Frashour back pay and benefits with interest from the date of the arbitrator's ruling until he is officially rehired.
The police union had asked the board to fine the city, but the board decided to not issue a fine because the city did not have a pattern of similar behavior.
The city will also have to post a notice in the police station saying it violated the collective bargaining agreement and will reinstate Frashour.
According to Susan Rossiter, the chairwoman of the employment relations board, the decision is binding, although the city can appeal the board’s decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
Adams said he'll urge the city council to do just that.
"A case such as this has never been tested in court and has never been adequately challenged," Adams said. "I will recommend to my fellow commissioners to appeal this decision and take it to a court of law."
He said this case is about fighting to retain local control of the police bureau.
Adams also said he still believes Frashour violated bureau policy when he shot Campbell.
Meanwhile, the police union put out a statement praising the employment relations board.
"From the beginning, the Portland Police Association has supported Officer Frashour because he followed the training and policies of the Portland Police Bureau on the night of January 29, 2010. The unnecessary battle that the City undertook should not be over," the statement said.