Update on arbitration of police disciplinary cases

June 21, 2024

As reported previously, on March 21 Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Mullen issued his ruling that allows Chicago police officers to choose to have the most serious police disciplinary cases heard by an arbitrator rather than the Police Board.  

On April 19, the Fraternal Order of Police filed a notice of appeal of Judge Mullen’s decision. The union is challenging Judge Mullen’s rulings that arbitration proceedings be open to the public and that accused officers may be suspended without pay while the arbitration case is pending. The union’s opening brief is due in July, and it appears that it will be some time before the Illinois Appellate Court decides the appeal.

Since Judge Mullen’s ruling and as noted in the "Police Discipline" section of the Police Board website, 13 police officers with disciplinary cases currently before the Police Board for which an evidentiary hearing has not been held have filed motions to transfer their cases to arbitration and terminate the Police Board proceedings.  The Board continues to await further information from the parties as to whether the City and the union can reach agreement on a public arbitration process.  The Board stands ready to rule on these motions once it receives this information.

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