Here’s the Arbitrator’s Decision That Restored Narcotics Cops to Duty

Officers get $90,000 back pay, and references to their discharge expunged from official records.

The six Narcotics Unit cops restored to duty after being found not guilty of federal corruption charges will get $90,000 in back pay and all references to their firing expunged from their personnel records, according to the record of the arbitrator’s decision in their case.

Philly Mag obtained a redacted version (below) of the July 10th decision by arbitrator Ralph H. Colflesh under a “right to know” request with the city. City officials said the redactions included payroll information, as well as the record of the arbitrator’s opinion, which is exempt from disclosure under state law. The arbitrator’s final award, however, is subject to open-records rules.

“There was no just cause under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement to discharge” the officers, Colflesh wrote.

The officers — Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, John Speiser and Linwood Norman — were part of the narcotics unit in the Philadelphia Police Department. All had been charged with RICO conspiracy. Some were individually charged with conspiracy to deprive of civil rights, deprivation of civil rights, robbery which interferes with interstate commerce, extortion which interferes with interstate commerce, carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, possession with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine, and falsification of records in a federal investigation. In May, a federal jury found the group “not guilty” of all charges.

All six were restored to active duty. Norman will be placed on duty at the city’s impound lot.

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