The City announced that it would not comply with the arbitrator's award (Mayor Will Not Follow Arbitrator's Order To Reinstate Frashour). It claimed, inter alia, that the award was contrary to public policy. The Portland Police Association filed an unfair labor practice charge with the State's Employment Relations Board. The ERB upheld the award (here), holding that in light of the Arbitrator's findings that there was no basis to the claim the Frashour had violated Department policy there was no public policy bar to his reinstatement. The City appealed the decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals. The City's claims, and the Union's response, are discussed in Police discipline and public policy.
The Court of Appeals has now affirmed the ERB's decision. Portland Police Assn. v. City of Portland. The Court agreed with the ERB's analysis that because the arbitrator found that Frashour "was not guilty of the misconduct for which discipline was imposed" there was no violation of public policy in enforcing the award. The Court also rejected the City's alternate argument that the arbitrator's failure to defer to the decision of the Chief was, itself, contrary to public policy:
The Court noted that "the statute does not appear to impose that same 'public policy' limitation on the arbitrator's review of the misconduct determination itself." Affirming the conclusion that once the arbitrator concluded that the officer had not committed the misconduct alleged the public policy exception to enforcement of the arbitrator's award simply didn't apply, the Court observed:
The City is currently reviewing the decision and has not yet announced whether it will appeal further. Portland considers taking Frashour's reinstatement order to state Supreme Court.