Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

Release Time Case Update

On May 10, 2016, the Arizona Supreme Court heard arguments in Cheatham v. DiCiccio, the lawsuit filed by the Goldwater Institute in 2011 challenging the practice of release time. Release time serves an important function in the operation of the police department and ensures that the interests of Unit IV members (the rank and file officers who PLEA represents) are being protected and that Unit IV members have access to representation during critical incidents, disciplinary investigations, and other administrative proceedings. PLEA Attorney Mike Napier argued that release time is part of the compensation package allocated to Unit IV members and not a gift or subsidy provided for the sole benefit of PLEA as claimed by Goldwater.

The Court seemed receptive to our argument and based on the questions posed by the justices, we are cautiously optimistic that the case will be decided in PLEA’s favor. A decision, however, may take several months.

CLICK HERE to watch the oral argument.