October 29, 2016 8:37 pm ET
Long legal battle involved retiree subsidy case
This letter was published by the FOP that represents rank and file members of the Baltimore County Police Department.
It was published as written, and it reveals the ugliness of the Kamenetz Administration in dealing with situations like this.
It reveals the vindictiveness of Mr. Kamenetz and his wasting taxpayers’ money.
And to think this man wants to be governor.
(Writer’s note–the title of the article was changed)
Baltimore County Police Officers that retired between February 1, 1992 and June 30, 2007 retired under collective bargaining agreements that stated the health insurance subsidy at the time of retirement would remain in effect for a retiree until the retiree reached age 65 or was eligible for Medicare.
Through the negotiation process the terms and conditions for health care changed for active employees in 2007. However the county also elected to increase the health insurance subsidy for our retirees. This was in clear violation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the FOP filed a class action grievance on behalf of the retirees.
We won the grievance in July 2008 and the County appealed. We won in Circuit Court in August 2010 and the County appealed. The County won in the Court of Special Appeals in November 2011 and we appealed to the Court of Appeals where we prevailed in November 2012. The County filed a motion to reconsider in December 2012 and that motion was denied.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz refused to comply with the Court of Appeals decision so we filed a Motion to Enforce in Baltimore County Circuit Court which we won in August 2013.
On November 5, 2013 the Circuit Court ordered the County to restore retiree health care subsidies. December 5, 2013 the Circuit Court denies the County’s motion to stay the order. On December 20, 2013 the Circuit Court orders the County to produce the subsidy information. On March 6, 2014 the Circuit Court orders the County to pay $1,413,120.81 for overcharge subsidies.
County Executive Kamenetz refused to comply so on April 14, 2014 a Show Cause Order was issued based on the FOP’s petition for contempt. On April 17,2014 the Circuit Court orders the County to pay $213,446.47 in interest. On May 28, 2014 the Circuit Court rules against the County’s motion to quash the show cause order.
In May and June 2014, the County issues three checks totaling $1,801,479.54 and restores the health care subsidy rates. County Executive Kamenetz filed three appeals to the Court of Special appeals. On December 17, 2014 the Court of Special Appeals denied all three of the County’s appeals. The County appealed and on August 25, 2016 the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled against the County and for the FOP.
We are glad we were able to prevail on the retirees behalf. We understand the legal system and its purpose for litigants to be able to get resolution for legitimate claims. But in this case Kevin Kamenetz had several opportunities to bring resolution. Instead he chose to disrespect collective bargaining agreements. He chose to disrespect court orders and decisions up to and including Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.
Further he disrespected our retirees, their service to the county and the profession of law enforcement. Please remember this as Kevin reaches the conclusion of his second and last term as the Baltimore County Ekecutive. He may seek elected office in the future and we believe this case serves as one example of why he should not be considered to govern.