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Arbitration Ruled In Case With Fired Police Sergeant

Monday, October, 22, 2012


A legal arbitration was conducted to determine whether or not a Massachusetts city's termination of a police sergeant was wrongful this October. Arbitration attorneys agreed that the termination was justified.

Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard police sergeant Robert Fiske was fired in October of 2011 for not complying with the department's procedures regarding domestic violence and sexual assault after an incident that involved a man assaulting his wife, leaving the residence, then returning and raping an under aged babysitter that was living with the family. The conflict resulting in the defendant's violence against his wife was created after he had sexually abused the babysitter in her sleep.

Employment Arbitration Rules That City Was Justified in Firing Fiske

During the employment arbitration, Fiske, a member of the department for 20 years, was found to have been neglectful of following policy. Fiske had allowed the teen victim to be left alone with the perpetrator's three children while the sergeant returned to the station. The sexual assault took place in front of the other children that were present.

Arbitration Attorneys Speak on the Outcome of Case

One arbitration lawyer for Tisbury said that the town contends that the grievant's July 23, 2011, and July 24, 2011 failures to implement Department Policies and Procedures, which he authored, allowed the endangerment of individuals he was sworn to protect, justifying his termination.

The lawyer also stated that based upon Fiske's amount of experience working with the department that he should have known better than to walk away from the situation after the girl had previously been assaulted by the suspect.

Fiske's arbitration lawyer, John M. Becker, said that Fiske was upset and disappointed in the outcome of the proceedings, but would abide by the ruling. Becker stated Sergeant Fiske has served the people of Tisbury for 20 years with no problems, and that the events that took place was just one exhibit of his poor decision making while on duty.