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Eldon Arzu can proceed with judicial review of Police Association election

Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2020. 5:47 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Supreme Court Justice Sonya Young will hear Police Corporal Eldon Arzu’s judicial review claim in September after arguments this week.

Arzu accuses his boss, Police Commissioner Chester Williams, of taking arbitrary decisions to unseat him and his slate as the incumbents on the Board of the Police Association. These included arbitrarily extending the nomination process, which allowed for Sergeant (now Acting Inspector) Jane Usher and her team to enter elections, long after the deadlines set by the Police Association’s election rules.

Attorney Nazira Myles said they could not get the court to immediately endorse the Arzu slate as that was out of time, but they can challenge the extension to the nominating process and the lawfulness of the election held in June in which Arzu’s slate was defeated by Usher’s.

Myles says it is not likely that new elections can be ordered as the term of the Association is only one year. But a determination by the court could lead to an injunction to stay any action by the currently elected board.

The court also dismissed a point that the exercise was academic on the grounds that Arzu was not denied a nomination and has not been elected and that there is no saying whether a circumstance like this would arise again affecting any one person or entity. Arzu remains a member of the Association and thus had standing, and the result would likewise any other serving member of the department who can vote or be nominated.

Commissioner Williams maintained in remarks to reporters on Friday that he had “good reason” to extend the election and nomination date and was pleased that the court did not entertain Arzu’s request to be endorsed and the Usher slate to be thrown out.

The first hearing in the judicial review case is set for September 3.

 

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