City of Guthrie says they will not make a third appeal in Mark Bruning case

City of Guthrie says they will not make a third appeal in Mark Bruning case

Following a 20 minute executive session on Monday night, the Guthrie City Council revealed they will not appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in the case against once terminated Guthrie police officer Mark Bruning.

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“The Guthrie City Council after significant consideration has determined not to pursue an appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in regards to Arbitrator Mark L. Reed’s award on the Mark Bruning arbitration,” councilmember Gaylord Z. Thomas said in part from a prepared statement.

Council member John Wood was not present for the special meeting.

An official complaint was filed against the Guthrie Police Department and Bruning claiming the officer made an illegal arrest on his wife’s ex-husband following the Mumford and Sons concert on Sept. 7, 2013. Bruning was later terminated in Oct. 2013 by the City after receiving the recommendation from an internal disciplinary hearing panel. Related story: Guthrie police officer terminated on Monday

However Reed, an independent arbitrator, ruled the City wrongfully terminated the officer in Nov. 2014. He ruled Bruning was to return back to the department in the same position (lieutenant) when he was terminated and back pay. The ruling also stated Bruning was to be suspended for six months without pay.

Ultimately, the City appealed and lost the case in District Court. Afterwards, the City appealed the court’s ruling with the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals and, again, lost their case in court. Related story: Bruning wins, again, against City of Guthrie; Oklahoma Appeal Court affirms decision

The second part of the City’s statement read, “The City of Guthrie still has an interest in pursuing a settlement on this matter that would be amicable to all parties. Short of reaching a negotiated settlement, the City of Guthrie will abide by the arbitrator’s award and suspend Officer Mark Bruning without pay for a period of six months and reinstate him to his former position as lieutenant.”

In a press conference in his attorney’s office in Oklahoma City last month, Bruning admitted fault in the scenario and agrees with Reed’s verdict.

Bruning’s attorney, Scott Adams, said he was willing to waive his fees following the arbitration case over two years ago.

“They continue to stub their toe,” Adams said of the city council. “Continue to throw the tax payer’s money away. They just don’t care what the average person in Guthrie is having to go through and all the money this is costing them,”

Bruning was terminated on Oct. 21, 2013 and with a six month suspension, is currently owed nearly 46 months in back pay alone.

Adams says the City of Guthrie currently owes between $400,000 and $500,000 in back pay, increases and attorney fees. Related story: Bruning’s attorney: City currently owes conservatively $400-500k in termination case

Statement released by the City of Guthrie

The Guthrie City Council after significant consideration has determined not to pursue an appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in regards to Arbitrator Mark L. Reed’s award on the Mark Bruning arbitration.

The City of Guthrie still has an interest in pursuing a settlement on this matter that would be amicable to all parties. Short of reaching a negotiated settlement, the City of Guthrie will abide by the arbitrator’s award and suspend Officer Mark Bruning without pay for a period of six months and reinstate him to his former position as lieutenant.

It should be noted, Arbirat0r Reed found that the City established by clear and convincing evidence Officer Bruning’s conduct of exercising poor judgement and abusive power warranted punishment up to and including termination. However, the arbitrator mitigated the original termination penalty.

The grievance was sustained in part. Arbitrator Reed found that Officer Mark Bruning’s conduct warranted severe discipline.

No action is necessary.

One Response to "City of Guthrie says they will not make a third appeal in Mark Bruning case"

  1. verdun2   February 15, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Finally! Sense prevails.

    Reply

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