Judge Orders Friday Hearing in Union Release Time Lawsuit

Posted on May 24, 2012 | Type: Press Release
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Phoenix – The judge presiding over Cheatham v. Gordon, the Goldwater Institute case challenging the constitutionality of union ‘release time,’ has ruled on the Institute’s motion for a preliminary injunction, stating “Based on the evidence submitted by both parties, the Court believes that an injunction is likely warranted.” She has further ordered that both sides present additional evidence at a three-hour evidentiary hearing this Friday.

A 2011 Goldwater Institute report found that the city of Phoenix spends nearly $4 million dollars annually to cover more than 73,000 hours of release time for city workers to conduct union business at taxpayers’ expense. These release time hours are standard in the city’s contracts with local unions. You can read that investigation, conducted by Mark Flatten, here.
The Goldwater Institute is challenging the city’s contract with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA), which was the most egregious of all the contracts, arguing that release time violates the gift clause found in the Arizona state constitution. PLEA has announced that it plans to call Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and other high-ranking city officials as witnesses at Friday’s hearing.
Here are the hearing details:
Friday, May 25
1:30 PM
Maricopa County Superior Court Building
101 West Jefferson, Courtroom 514, Phoenix
Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Clint Bolick is available for comment on the matter before and after Friday’s hearing.
Please call Lucy Caldwell at (602) 633-8986 with any questions or to schedule an interview with Clint Bolick before the hearing.
Please note: Media wishing to bring cameras into the courtroom should call the Superior Court media relations line at (602) 506-7570 or by requesting permission here: http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/MediaRelationsDepartment/MediaRoom/cameraRequest.asp

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