Detective Debra White, a veteran member of the Montclair Police Department, was discharged from her position on January 18, 1996. Arbitrator Michael Prihar recently issued an award to reinstate her with all benefits of employment.
White was removed from her position over a dispute with a detective supervisor occurring on September 9, 1995.
While she was the duty detective on the evening of the 9th, and subject to call out, she had also volunteered to work an overtime slot in the dispatch center, believing that she could get one of several dispatchers to respond and cover her overtime position in the dispatch center, if she received a call out as the “duty” detective.
Her detective supervisor noticed that she was working in the dispatch center when he arrived at the station to supervise an unrelated detective operation. He walked to the dispatch center and asked White if she was indeed the duty detective for that evening. She responded that she was.
Upon hearing this, the supervisor invited her to the coffee room and while he filled his thermos with coffee, he inquired as to what she would do if there was a call out. She explained her understanding that she could call upon an off-duty dispatcher to respond and that there should not be any problem.
She had all of her detective gear at the station anyway, so she could probably be in the field on the detective assignment faster than if she had to come from home on the call out.
The detective supervisor testified at the hearing that he concluded from this conversation that she had made specific arrangements with a particular dispatcher for such a contingency, thus placing that off-duty dispatcher on something of a “stand by” status.
Although the supervisor testified that he could not point to any specific words that White said which unequivocally indicated that White had placed a dispatcher on “stand by”, he did testify that the overall “gist” of her remarks “implied” this to be the case.
In addition to this detective supervisor’s testimony that he had been misled by the detective, and that she “lied” to him, the department also attempted to besmirch the detective’s credibility and reputation by bringing in other previous incidents of alleged dishonesty to supervisors. All of his failed.
Arbitrator Prihar issued his advisory decision recently finding that the evidence did not support the charges that White was dishonest to her supervisor on September 9, 1995, or that she was dishonest on the internal investigation which followed those events.
Prihar issued an award calling for Debra White’s reinstatement in good standing with back pay and benefits, to her position as a detective retroactive to January 18, 1996.
Throughout the proceedings leading to her termination, and through the contested hearings before Mr. Prihar, Ms. White was represented by Ms. Muna Busailah and Mr. Michael P. Stone of Michael P. Stone P.C. of Pasadena.
Under the city rules, the city may appeal to the City Counsel to set aside the arbitrator’s award.
PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.
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Can’t say enough. Both representatives that I had in 2016 were excellent. ( My attorney ) made himself available to me in late night hours, which made me feel comfortable and at ease. This program is essential to us in law enforcement.
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Unfortunately, I have been placed in the position to use LDF several times in my career. Without their valued services, I would not be here to write this. I and my family thank you.
- Adam Laird Eureka POA
Dear PORAC Legal Defense Fund, This email has been weighing on my heart and should have been sent a long time ago. However, time seems to move fast even though your life has been put on hold. I have been on administrative leave since December of 2012. In April of 2013, I was arrested for the performance of my duties. Since the administrative side this case has not been resolved, I won't be getting into specific details regarding my case. However, I will say that I never thought that my life would turned upside down by doing the job that I love, and doing it in a way that I had been trained. I have been in Law Enforcement for 10 years, and I have been paying my monthly dues all along. I never really understood how important paying dues might be for me, I just thought it was the "cost of business". After being arrested, I understood the real worth of that investment. Because of politics, my case was given the "full court press". On January 3rd of 2014, the case against me was dismissed. It took no less than 5 experts to convince the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office to request dismissal. The time, effort, and money that this case cost couldn't have been endured by me as the sole provider of a family of four. LDF was there, big time. The panel attorney's under LDF were the best in the business. In the uncertain time during the criminal process, I couldn't have imagined how much help they could be. What a relief to know that LDF had my back. I am used to defending those who can't defend themselves. That's my job. When I was defenseless, LDF and the attorneys assigned to my case were my advocates and defenders. I thank you. My criminal attorney said it best at the conclusion of my criminal case: "Adam and his family are thankful that they can now move forward. The evidence showing Sgt. Laird was innocent was overwhelming. The expert EPD hired said that the suspect was rising up when Sgt. Laird pushed him back to the ground. The two experts that the DA’s office hired said that the force was reasonable and appropriate. The defensive tactics instructor who trained Adam said he acted consistent with his training in apprehending a high risk suspect in a dangerous situation. In total, five separate police practices experts reviewed the case and unanimously said Sgt. Laird acted appropriately". "It is hard to imagine what it must be like to risk your life apprehending a known gang member only to be charged with using excessive force when the suspect stated that he did not even feel the contact at issue. It is simply bizarre that Sgt. Laird was ever charged with a crime". Thank you. My family and I will forever be grateful for your service, Sergeant Adam Laird
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LDF is a great organization that not only helps their clients but many of those around them such as coworkers and family members.
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You guys did an amazing job! Thank you L.D.F. !
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Hope to never in a situation again, however, glad to know that LDF is there to help.
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Thank you for your help.
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[My Representative] is fabulous! Thanks for all the exra work she did for me!
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- David Heller Yolo County DSA
The charges against me, if sustained, would have likely ended my LE career. I was rightfully exonerated on all charges. I was well represented by [My Representative] and thank him for a job well done!!
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LDF referred me to [ representative ] in Spokane, WA. [ Representative ] did an outstanding job representing me. Thank you very much for the referral ! I would not be employed any longer had it not been for [ representative ] and his legal team.”
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I would not want to be an officer without this coverage. It was great to have it and kept my mind at ease.
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Keep up the good work.
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Thank God for the L.D.F.
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It was great comfort to know somebody would be there for me in this matter. I was able to finally sleep @ night & wake up with confidence that I would be ok. Thanks.
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I have had (2) two cases in which LDF represented me. Both lawyers were exceptionally professional, intelligent and caring for me. They were friendly and very helpful.
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No criticism to give. Very well.
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26 years and I have never needed a LDF rep, but the one time you need one, it was worth the fee’s paid.”
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The LDF process was painless and I was able to get immediate representation in an urgent time of need. Thank you LDF
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As always... an excellent result.
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Very helpful program. Helped keep department personnel focused on the issue regardless of their personal issues.
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Very well informed group.
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Thank you for all of the work related to my officer involved shooting case.
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Thank you for your services.
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Very knowledgeable and thorough and would use the rep again.
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[My representative] did a fantastic job at returning my phone calls and keeping me informed of any and all information pertaining to my case. I would recommend him to anyone.
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Being a police officer in the city of Oakland, I appreciate the services that are offered.
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Everything went smooth. I think the current system works very well.
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- Kristen Patterson Contra Costa Co Prob. Assn.
[My representative] was helpful and made me feel supported. I got the results I desired. Very pleased with the process.
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Outstanding service from bottom-to-top.
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Excellent service, prompt and courteous.
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- Miguel Masso Oakland POA
[I'm very satisfied and grateful] for LDF representing me. My attorney was professional, honest, and very knowledgeable of his profession. During these tough times my attorney would contact me on a regular basis to see how I was doing. This was obviously not part of his job description, but it kept me at ease and not losing my mind. I'm thankful that I was represented by LDF.
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Very satisfied with the LDF services provided. Thank you.
- German Alvarez Anaheim PA
[My representative ] was great!
- Brendan Dolan Milwaukee PA
Everything went very smooth and they handled everything! Thank you.
- Brian Markert Lakewood Police Indp Guild
I feel that I was very well represented by the LDF regarding a fatal officer involved shooting. Both attorneys assigned to assist me - our guild attorney plus a criminal defense attorney - were very aggressive and helpful. Their work was instrumental in helping me to navigate the criminal and internal investigations so that I could return to full duty status.
- Gilbert Garcia Oceanside POA
My attorney provided outstanding representation.
- James Walker Yakima Police Patrolsman Assn
This attorney and her legal team were one of the best I’ve seen and interacted with. I was always in the loop and constantly updated on the case status. I would use (my attorney) again if the need came and recommend her to anyone.
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I just want to say [my representative] did a great job! Thank you.
- Scott Muir Tracy POA
Very satisfied with the service I was given.
- Tamboura Nettingham Claremont Custody Center EA
My representative was an outstanding rep. I was very fortunate to be represented by her and the firm should be very proud to have her in it. She's courteous, smart and aggressive when needed. I would not ask for anyone else, if any other situation evolved, she's the best. Thanks.
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[My representative] is the poster face representative of the greatest attorney (representative) that anyone could possibly ask for. She gets a 12 out of 10 star rating. Nobody works harder.
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He was very professional. I trusted him to defend and he did! I am very thankful he was here for me.
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An excellent plan. Very valuable to its members.
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[My representative] has represented me twice now and both times I have been very pleased with his thoroughness with handling my cases. I appreciate all what LDF and [my representative] have done for me.
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I have held leadership positions in our POA most of my career. Because of my role as President and Vice President I have been a target to management. I feel that if it were not for LDF I wouldn't have a job
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[My representative] did a good job representing me. Kept me informed.
- Roy Iler San Benito CO LEM
[My representative] always returned phone calls and let me know if he was contacted with information.
- Nicholas Ward Antioch POA
[ Representative ] did a great job. My case was extremely complicated and difficult. She did a great job.
- Jason Boust Sanger POA
My rep was very helpful in explaining the processes and stayed in contact throughout the ordeal.
- Emery Eccle Culver City POA
LDF is THE most important asset / resource that police officers have. "Thank you" to all involved and keep up the good work!
- Robert Glock Oakland POA
I am always satisfied with LDF and all their representatives.
- Steven E. Lopez Santa Maria POA
Keep up the Good Work! Your service was extremely helpful to me. Thank you.
- Rich Stepper Montana PPA
[ My representative ] was very knowledgeable regarding dept & legal rules regarding officer involved shooting. Provided good legal advice & was very supportive.
- John Tinder Chino POA
Having an LDF attorney who is experienced, knowledgeable and professional is an outstanding quality. [My representative ]exhibit all of these qualities and more. They are outstanding and I would not entrust my career to anyone else!
- Steven Mayorga Ventura County DSA
I was well represented and very glad to have LDF. Thank you.
- Jon Seabron Oceanside POA
[My Representative] was the best and if I ever need to call al lawyer again for anything, I'll be calling her.
- Rachael Van Sloten Oakland POA
LDF is absolutely essential to help make a system that is somewhat broken work more effectively. [My Representative] is excellent and takes a great deal of time to lisen and represent.
- Andrew Hill Statewide University PA
I have used this law firm for union related business for the last several years. It was a no brainer to call them for LDF.
- Scot Hicks Humbolt County DSO
My experience was made much less stressful thanks to the LDF representation.
- Dennis W. Ostini Lake County DSA
[My Representative] was fantastic, knowledgeable, professional and easy to talk and work with. Even though the allegations lodged have not been resolved, [My Representative] continued to communicate with me, to offer his assistance.
- Keith Stiver Hayward POA
[My representative] brings a superlative reputation, a comforting and confidence building demeanor and a clear expertise to the table. In particular I appreciate her philosophy that she gives her total undivided attention to her clients during their appointments.
- Christopher Delaney Upland POA
Your rep was very personal. Even though my case involved something minor, your rep made me [feel] my case was his most important. I am very satisfied with my LDF team.
- Doug Plumhoff Ridgecrest PEA
Great job by all! Always great to know LDF is there when needed.
- Gary Silva East Bay Region Parks POA
Thank you for providing this service. My experience with LDF was very much to my satisfaction.
- Roman Fernandez Inglewood POA
My representatives were always well-prepared and organized for hearings and meetings. Their efforts, hard work and full support is truly appreciated.
- James Beckman Miracosta College POA
Excellent service everytime.
- Aaron Delgado Monterey POA
My representative called me back promptly and kept me informed. I had the impression she cared and was there to help.
- Russell Wise Alameda POA
- Phillip Flores Oxnard POA
My attorney was excellent. I would use her again.
- Juan Pascua, Jr. San Diego Co DSA
Very helpful and very informative!
- Patrick Beggs Fresno Co DSA
Good service. Thank you.
- Yvonne Heuston ERS/SPPOA Supervisors
My representative was outstanding and knew what to lookout for and how to handle situations as they appeared. He told me what to expect and how he proposed to handle the hurdles. Just telling what to expect helped put me at ease as the situation was so foreign to me, and intimidating.
- Rachel Tyner Transit EOA of San Diego
All the LDF representatives were very courteous and attentive with a punctual response to all of my concerns, inquiries and appointment scheduling. My representative was very informative about the legalities and kept in contact with me regularly. He was also very patient and straight forward. I would definitely want to use the LDF again and felt more confident through my proceedings because I had representation!
- Anthony Russo Clark Co School District
The members of my Association are very pleased with the level of representation that PORAC has given to us. As the President I can not thank you all enough.
- Chris Lyon Tulare Co DSA
Very thorough group of sharp/smart government concerned [attorneys]. They understood what was happening and briefed me on everything. I was very impressed.
- Byron Kies Santa Barbara Co DSA
Everything was great!
- Robert Morales Rialto PBA
I was very pleased with the service I received
- Robert Hartman Contra Costa Co DSA
Quick response, experienced and knowledgeable attorney which assisted in every step. [My representative] kept me apprised through the process. Thank you.
- Ronald J. Danison El Monte POA
The LDF is a tool available to me which I hope never goes away. It makes me feel that much more confident to do my job knowing LDF has my back when police work gets ugly. And it usually does..
- Dan Lovelace Chandler LEA
Thank you for the funding and support. I would be in jail right now if it were not for LDF. I would not have had the funding to pay for the case. It was a tremendous help having [my representative] and his support team and the many experts supplied by LDF. I speak for myself, my family and other members of my association.
- Joseph A. Henderson Merced POA
The firm I used was very valuable to my career and kept me updated as to status of the case. Thank you!
- Ricky L. Hemphill Los Angeles School PA
[My representative] was an excellent lawyer.
- Brent Teasley ERS/Reno PSAEA
[ My representative ] was bogged down with multiple cases when he represented me, but I feel he did an excellent job. I would not have wanted anyone else to represent me during a very troublesome time.
- Tai Pena-Hornung Oakland POA
Those who foolishly feel LDF is not a valuable resource, do so only because they have not yet needed legal representation.
- Nancy Page Aurora PA
I didn't end up needing his service but he was awesome in what conversations we had before the matter was resolved. Very valuable - LDF!