The California Public Employment Relations Board overturned portions of Measure P, a police oversight-related measure that Sonoma County voters approved last year, on June 23. The board ruled that certain provisions of Measure P violated the collective bargaining rights of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. The ruling overturned provisions allowing the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) to:
- conduct its own investigations of deputies,
- publish camera footage,
- subpoena records,
- provide disciplinary recommendations, and
- observe interviews during investigations by internal affairs.
The California Public Employment Relations Board is a commission of four appointees that rule on government labor issues. The board said that the unions representing county sheriffs should have had the opportunity to negotiate these provisions before they were enacted.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors can appeal the decision to the California First District Court of Appeal.
Here is a sampling of reactions to the California Public Employment Relations Board’s ruling:
- Karlene Navarro, the director of the law enforcement oversight office, said that the ruling “appears to essentially delete IOLERO’s independent investigatory power in its entirety and voids IOLERO’s subpoena power.”
- “Who is in charge of law enforcement oversight?” Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair Lynda Hopkins said. “Is it the more than 166,000 people in Sonoma County who voted yes on Measure P or is it the four members of the [labor board]?”
- Mike Vail, president of the county sheriff deputy union, said that the union should have been invited to negotiate before the measure was put on the ballot. Vail said, “The Board of Supervisors rejected the appropriate legal process and squandered an opportunity to accomplish a mutually agreeable set of reforms.”
Click here to read more about Sonoma County Measure P.
Note: An earlier edition of this article contained a typo that misquoted Karlene Navarro. This has been corrected. We apologize for this error and any confusion it caused.