“I’m surprised,” Herrera said in the parking lot on the way to his car. “You had a 22-year veteran on the force and I honestly figured that the council would look at the history and the career of this officer and do something, perhaps some sort of reprimand or counseling … you don’t terminate a 22-year veteran over this. Not with the manner with which the investigation was conducted. It troubled me that there was no immediate willingness to second the initial motion and then a second came up out of left field, but I guess that’s just part of the process.”
Herrera did say, and his client agreed, that this battle is not over.
“We have a pending action seeking a declaration that the manner in which this was handled violated the town charter. I’ve actually had private residents that have asked to join as plaintiffs in that case and I’ll have to evaluate if my clients want to go through with it.”
“Obviously I was very disappointed with the outcome,” said Olmedo. “I felt the town council, what they did was they confirmed the authority that the chief does not possess under the town charter and will continue to pursue my two lawsuits against the city and will include the mayor and all of the council members involved in that lawsuit because they violated the town charter and pursuant to their own rules, contradicted themselves from their ordinance, so I will seek further judicial relief from a circuit court and will appeal their decision to a circuit court judge.”
According to Pizzi, the other two dismissed officers (Romero and Perez) have also appealed their terminations but, unlike Olmedo, they are taking their respective cases directly to an independent arbitrator and will have their appeals heard at a later date.