NEPBA Prevents Disclosure of Arbitration Award Under Right to Know Law
In a case litigated by NEPBA attorneys Nolan Perroni, PC, the NEPBA successfully prevented the public release of an arbitration award to a newspaper under the right-to-know statute. The NEPBA has maintained that it should be the Union’s right to decide whether arbitration awards are publicly available as they are personnel records.
The issue involved whether Seacoast Newspapers could – using the right-to-know law – obtain an arbitration award in a disciplinary case arising out of the NEPBA local representing the Portsmouth Police Ranking Officers. The City agreed with the newspaper that the Award should be produced but refused to release the Award because of potential litigation with the NEPBA. The newspaper then filed suit against the City in the Superior Court. On behalf of the NEPBA, Attorney Peter Perroni intervened in that case on behalf of the union and argued that the arbitration award was, in fact, a personnel record that was not subject to disclosure under the Right to Know Law. The City – even though it was the Defendant in the case – continued to agree with the Newspaper. The Court issued its order last week and sided with the NEPBA. The Court found that the Award represented an internal personnel practice and was not subject to disclosure under the right-to-know law. It is a solid win and appears to be the first case in the nation deciding this issue.
The NEPBA is also litigating a similar issue with regard to the Town of Salem and the request of the New Hampshire ACLU and the Union Leader to release un-redacted copies of the so-called Kroll report on the Salem Police Department. Attorney Perroni has also moved to intervene on behalf of the Salem NEPBA local in that case.Share