JEFFERY L. STUMP, Plaintiff,
TOWN OF MIDDLETOWN, MAYOR KENNETH L. BRANNER, CHIEF MICHAEL IGLIO, and DELAWARE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COUNCIL, an agency of the State of Delaware Defendants.
Submitted: June 28, 2018
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss DENIED.
S. Malik, Esquire, The Law Office of John S. Malik, Attorney
Mims, Esquire, Department of Justice, Deputy Attorney General
for Criminal Justice Council
G. Wilcox, Esquire, Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLC,
Attorney for Defendants Town of Middletown, Mayor Kenneth L.
Branner, and Chief Michael Iglio.
CALVIN L. SCOTT, JR.
issue in this action is whether a sworn police officer was
afforded sufficient due process in accordance with the Law
Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights when the officer was
disciplined without an opportunity to participate in a
and Procedural Background
Stump (Stump) was employed by Defendant Town of Middletown as
a sworn police officer. Stump held the rank of Master
Sergeant prior to an investigation of possible violations of
Police Department Rules and Regulations. After an
investigation Stump was notified the Town of Middletown
intended to demote him two ranks to Master Corporal. The
demotion was accompanied with a reduction in pay and a
probationary period of one year. Stump filed a grievance with
Mayor and Council of the Town of Middletown. After a review
of the investigation the Mayor and Council made the decision
to reinstate Stump as Sergeant. This decision had the effect
of a demotion of only one rank for Stump. Stump requested an
appeal from this decision which was denied.
petitions this Court for a Writ of Mandamus directing
Defendants to perform their duties pursuant to the Law
Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights (LEOBOR). Stump
alleges that he was not provided the due process protections
of 11 Del. C. § 9200 et. Seq. Stump claims the
grievance process followed by the Town of Middletown failed
to provide a sufficient hearing as required by 11 Del.
C. § 9203. Stump's complaint alleges inter alia
that he was deprived the opportunity to hear and cross
examine witnesses against him, to call witnesses on his
behalf, and to present evidence in his defense. Stump requests a
Writ of Mandamus be issued requiring Defendants Criminal
Justice Council (CSC), Town of Middletown, and Mayor of
Middletown provide an adequate hearing prior to the
imposition of any disciplinary actions as required by §
CSC have moved for dismissal of this petition claiming Stump
is not entitled to a hearing by CSC. CSC contends § 9203
only requires a hearing before the council if there is no
grievance procedure provided for by the bargaining agreement
between the agency and the bargaining unit. In the present
case, CSC contends Middletown Police officers are represented
by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #20. CSC submits that
under the collective bargaining agreement grievances shall be
administered in accordance with the Town of Middletown's
Personnel Policy Manual. CSC urges dismissal as Stump has
pursued his grievance through the policy as stated in the
manual, therefore he has exhausted his remedies and no CSC
hearing is required.
Town of Middletown, Chief of Police Iglio, and Mayor Branner
(Hereinafter collectively referred to as Middletown) echo
CSC's reasoning for dismissal. Middletown argues the
Personnel Manual provides a grievance procedure which Stump
followed. Middletown argues ...