Schmidt v. Creedon, No. 09-2051 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
A police officer was suspended for his handling of another officer's complaint against superior officers in violation of policies governing use of the computer system. A union grievance resulted in an award of back pay and benefits to the date of the award. The Office of the Inspector General issued a report several months after the incident and scheduled a hearing, which resulted in termination. After filing another union grievance, the officer was reinstated without back pay. The district court rejected claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The Third Circuit affirmed, first holding that the defendants were protected by qualified immunity. Under Pennsylvania law, the officer had a protected property interest in his job and, absent extraordinary circumstances, was entitled to a pre-suspension hearing, but that right was not clearly established. Prior case law could have been interpreted as indicating that the post-suspension union grievance hearing was adequate. The notice of the termination hearing was adequate, despite not identifying the specific rules allegedly violated.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on March 29, 2011.