Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

PLEA Prevails in Steroid Case

On Thursday, March 11, 2010, the City of Phoenix Civil Service Board voted unanimously to reinstate Carl Ramirez to employment as an officer with the Phoenix Police Department.  This is a huge victory not only for Officer Ramirez but for PLEA as well and we would like to thank attorney Katherine Baillie and the law firm of Michael Napier, PC., for all of their assistance in this case.  If not for their dedicated efforts Carl would not have been reinstated.

Carl was terminated for testing 1/10 of 1% over the allowable limit for a metabolite of Nandrolone (a steroid).  Trace ammounts of steroid are sometimes found in over-the-counter supplements commonly sold at health food and vitamin stores.  PLEA hired steroid expert Dr. Don Catlin, who is known as the “father of steroid testing” to counteract the City’s claims that Carl was using illegal steroids.

PLEA is confident that Police Management will view this as an opportunity to work cooperatively to come up with a common sense practical steroid policy.  PLEA wants to make sure all officers are protected from a policy that does not account for error rates in testing which in turn would allow officers to become victims.  PLEA believes that together we can come up with a policy that will ensure fairness and be more in line with nationally accepted test norms.

PLEA’s legal counsel has advised that under current conditions officers are being held accountable for any substance/supplement ingested regardless of the place purchased.  Officers should be especially cautious of any supplements that come with labels warning of the risk for false positives on steroid tests.

PLEA’s legal counsel is currently considering legal action against the company that does the city’s steroid testing as well as the over-the-counter supplement company.

Stay tuned next week for a more detailed article about this situation and our steroid policy in general.

CLICK HERE to view the Civil Service Board hearing officers report.