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Police unions engaged in lawsuit

One Bethlehem officers’ union sues another seeking fundraising money

— The Bethlehem Police Supervisor’s Association has sued the Bethlehem Police Benevolent Association in Albany County Court seeking funds it claims were jointly raised.

According to the Supervisor’s Association’s lawsuit, the group came to an agreement with the PBA in 2008 to conduct joint fundraising. The Supervisor’s Association represents police officers holding the rank of sergeant and lieutenant, while the PBA represents the department’s patrolmen.

“Fundraising proceeds were to be split based on the ratio of members in the plaintiff’s association (the Supervisor’s Association) to the number of members in the defendant’s association (PBA),” read court documents obtained by The Spotlight.

At the time, there were seven members in the Supervisor’s Association and 31 members in the PBA. According to the agreement in the documents, the money was supposed to be split in 38 equal parts, with seven parts to the supervisors and 31 parts to the patrolmen.

The Supervisor’s Association now claims it received the share for the year of 2008, but did not receive money for each year thereafter. The lawsuit seeking an unnamed amount of money was filed in January in 2012.

According to the PBA’s answer to the complaint, filed by their attorney Thomas Jordan, the two groups were supposed to be splitting just the current fund balance in 2008, not the balance of each year going forward.

“An accord was reached when the two parties agreed to a split of the existing fund balance only,” reads the response. “The agreement was satisfied when the defendant’s paid plaintiffs the agreed upon share.”

Jordan said he could not comment on the lawsuit because it is currently in litigation.

The Supervisor’s Association is being represented by attorneys for Council 82, the New York State Law Enforcement Officers Union, which is affiliated with AFSCME and AFL-CIO. Their attorney could not be reached for comment.

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