On May 7, 2014, the Department of State Hospitals - Metropolitan State Hospital informed CSLEA’s Supervising Legal Counsel David De La Riva that it decided to withdraw a notice of adverse action which had been previously served on Hospital Police Officer (and CSLEA full-member) Jose Leal. The action called for a ten-working-day suspension, effective at the close of business on May 7, 2014.
The day before withdrawing the action, Mr. De La Riva, accompanied by Officer Leal, participated in a Skelly hearing presided over by Metropolitan’s Executive Director, Dr. Michael Barsom. The Skelly hearing represents an opportunity by the individual being punished to offer arguments in support of his case to a party which has the power to sustain, modify or revoke the action, prior to the effective date.
The facts associated with this matter include those which Hospital Police Officers face on a daily basis, including having to physically defend themselves against aggressive patients and later, defend against abuse claims made by the patients. After listening to the circumstances surrounding the incidents alleged in the action and being presented with Officer Leal’s stellar work history, it was apparently evident to Dr. Barsom that the application of the action to Officer Leal was thoroughly unwarranted. CSLEA received notice of Dr. Barsom’s decision to withdraw the action late the following day.
In expressing his appreciation for CSLEA’s representation, Officer Leal stated, “Thank you so much for all the hard work and dedication that you and CSLEA put in helping me with this case. This is a huge victory, not just for me, but for the officers here at Metro and shows the strength and power of CSLEA. Thank you so much again on behalf of me and my family.”
Fortunately, Officer Leal did not hesitate to contact CSLEA when he was initially notified he was under investigation by his employer. As a result, CSLEA was able to maintain contact with those investigating the case and to be available to represent Officer Leal, when necessary.
"CSLEA continues to strive for excellence in representing its members," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. " At the same time, CSLEA members are reminded to maintain communication with either the CSLEA Northern or Southern office to ensure timely responses to inquiries and for the protection of their rights."