United States District Court, D. Columbia
National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Plaintiff: Matthew
James Sharbaugh, LEAD ATTORNEY, Thomas Edward Reinert, Jr.,
MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS, LLP, Washington, DC USA.
Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 189 Labor Committee,
Defendant: Thomas A. Cushane, LEAD ATTORNEY, CUSHANE LAW
FIRM, LLC, Vineland, N.J. USA.
Kessler, United States District Judge.
National Railroad Passenger Corporation, best known as Amtrak
(" Plaintiff" or " Amtrak" ), brings this
action to vacate an arbitration award under the Railway Labor
Act, 45 U.S.C. § 151 et seq. (" RLA" ), and
the Inspector General Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C.App. 3 § 1 et
seq. (" IG Act" ). After a labor dispute between
Amtrak and Defendant the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 189
(" Defendant" or " the FOP" ) involving
one of the FOP's members, on March 24, 2014, an
Arbitrator issued a Decision and Award in favor of the FOP.
Arbitrator's Decision [Dkt. No. 22-1]. On April 22, 2014,
Amtrak filed its Complaint and Petition to Vacate Arbitration
Award under the Railway Labor Act [Dkt. No. 1], contending
that the Arbitrator's Decision exceeded the scope of his
jurisdiction and violated public policy with respect to
Amtrak Inspector General investigations and Amtrak police
matter is presently before the Court on Amtrak's Motion
for Summary Judgment [Dkt. No. 23] and the FOP's
Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. No. 25]. At the heart
of the Parties' Cross-Motions is a single legal question:
are procedural limitations on the conduct of internal
investigations contained in a collective bargaining agreement
between Amtrak and the FOP binding on the Amtrak Office of
Inspector General? The Court concludes that they are not.
Upon consideration of the Motions, Oppositions [Dkt. Nos. 25,
27], Replies [Dkt. Nos. 27, 28], the United States'
Statement of Interest [Dkt. No. 26], and the entire record
herein, and for the reasons stated below, Amtrak's Motion
for Summary Judgment shall be granted and the FOP's
Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment shall be denied .
Factual and Procedural Background
of 2008, Sarah Bryant (" Bryant" ) joined the
Canine Unit of the Amtrak Police Department (" APD"
September 20, 2011, the Amtrak Office of Inspector General
(" OIG" ) and APD's Internal Affairs Unit
received anonymous complaints that Bryant's supervisor,
William Parker (" Parker" ), was assigning Bryant a
disproportionate share of " surge overtime" in the
Canine Unit and that Bryant and Parker jointly owned a home
in Bowie, Maryland.
September 25, 2012, the OIG interviewed both Parker and
Bryant. At the interview, Bryant was apprised of her right to
remain silent in accordance with Garrity v. State of New
Jersey, 385 U.S. 493, 500, 87 S.Ct. 616, 17 L.Ed.2d 562
(1967) (holding that statements obtained from police officers
under threat of termination for refusal to answer could not
be used in subsequent criminal proceedings). However, "
[s]he was not advised of any right to [u]nion counsel and/or
representation, or given Miranda rights, and her interview
was not recorded in any way." Arbitrator's Decision
at 5. The OIG's failure to take these three steps would
prove to be critical to the Arbitrator's disposition of
October 22, 2012, the OIG issued its report to the APD's
Acting Chief of Police. The report stated that both Parker
and Bryant had made false statements and omissions about
their relationship and joint ownership of the Maryland home
during their interviews with OIG and in previous interviews
with APD Internal Affairs. The report also stated that Bryant
and Parker's relationship created a conflict of interest,
described various violations of Amtrak policy, and noted a
likely violation of Maryland's criminal code. See
Arbitrator's Decision at 5-7.
November 19, 2012, the Acting Chief of Police issued
administrative charges against Bryant. On December 3, 2012,
the APD gave Bryant the opportunity to resign rather than be
terminated. She declined the offer and was
April 9, 2013, pursuant to the grievance procedure set forth
in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (" CBA" ),
A.R. 259-320 [Dkt. No. 22-2], between Amtrak and Bryant's
union, the FOP, Bryant appealed her termination to an
Arbitrator. On November 15, 2013, Arbitrator Joan Parker (no
relation to William Parker) held a hearing regarding
Bryant's termination, and on January 31, 2014, Amtrak and
the FOP submitted post-hearing briefs.
March 24, 2014, the Arbitrator issued her Decision, holding
that Amtrak did
not have just cause to discharge Bryant. The Decision ordered
Amtrak to reinstate Bryant to her prior position with her
previous level of seniority, back pay, and retroactive
payment of benefits. Arbitrator's Decision at 22.
Arbitrator's Decision rests entirely on the OIG's
failure to: 1) advise Bryant of her right to union
representation; 2) read Bryant her Miranda rights; and 3)
record her interview. A section of the CBA between Amtrak and
the FOB contains extensive procedures that govern internal
investigations of APD officers. Arbitrator's Decision at
3-4. This section, entitled " Rule 50-Police Officers
Bill of Rights," includes the following relevant
In an effort to ensure that these interrogations [of APD
employees] are conducted in a manner which is conducive to
good order and discipline, the following guidelines are
. . .
2. The employee shall be advised of his [or her] right to an
adjournment in order to have the Organization's [i.e.,
FOP's] counsel (or his [or her] designee) and/or
Organization representative present.
. . .
4. If an employee is under arrest or is likely to be, that
is, if he [or she] is a suspect or the target of a criminal
investigation, he [or she] shall be given [their] rights
pursuant to the Miranda decision.
. . .
7. The complete interrogation of the employee shall be
recorded mechanically or by a stenographer. All recesses
called during the questioning shall be noted. The employee or
the Organization's counsel (or his [or her] designee)
shall be entitled to a transcript of such ...