Capitol Police Recruits Hire Attorney for Appeal

Posted June 24, 2008 at 6:57pm

At least five, and possibly more, of the 15 Capitol Police recruits removed from training this week will appeal their termination, a lawyer representing them said Tuesday.

John Berry, a D.C.-based labor attorney, said that under federal law, Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse cannot fire the recruits without the approval of the chairmen of the House Administration and Senate Rules and Administration committees.

Berry represented the Capitol Police FOP from 1991 to 2002.

“I’ve got five recruits, and a couple more coming in,” he said. “We’re going to move pretty quickly. An appeal is due on Friday.”

Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for House Administration Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.), said he could not comment on the case.

Capitol Police said the 15 recruits were asked to resign after it was determined they had failed to pass some part of their background, physical or psychological tests. The recruits, however, had already been training for about two months.

“There’s been some mistakes here, and we’re trying to do our best to fix them,” Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer said Monday. Gainer sits on the Capitol Police Board.

None of the recruits has been fired, a fact that may affect Berry’s planned appeal to the House and Senate committees.

In a statement released Tuesday, however, Berry said that if that avenue of appeal does not work, “the firm is considering several options including filings with the Congressional Office of Compliance and in Federal District Court.”