Judge to reject Montgomery County police union ballot petition

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Local,Maryland,Rachel Baye

A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge has indicated he plans to reject the county police union's petition to put on the November ballot a measure restoring the union's full collective-bargaining rights.

The Fraternal Order of Police, or FOP, sought to restore its right to bargain virtually any management decision, including requiring officers to check their email daily.

However, Judge Eric Johnson indicated at a hearing this week that he will rule more than 6,000 signatures invalid, in addition to the more than 2,600 signatures he tossed out at a hearing last week.

The invalidated signatures appeared on petition pages on which the people circulating the petitions listed inaccurate address information in an affidavit certifying that the signatures were collected legally. If the affidavit is inaccurate, Johnson said last week, the signatures are not valid.

With those 8,600 signatures invalidated, the FOP no longer has the necessary 30,234 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

Francis Collins, attorney for the FOP, said he would not be able to say whether the FOP plans to appeal the decision before Johnson issues his formal written opinion later this week.

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