BART statement on arbitrator's decision in MarySol Domenici case
BART must abide by today’s labor arbitrator ruling to reinstate Officer MarySol Domenici. Domenici appealed BART’s decision to fire her. Under the union contract, an arbitrator has the final say in this case. BART believes we did the right thing in acting on the independent internal affairs investigation’s recommendation to terminate her employment. The arbitrator made a different decision and it is now out of our hands.
Following the recommendations of the independent law firm hired to conduct the internal affairs investigation, BART terminated Domenici for being untruthful in both her statements to BART Police investigators and in her testimony at the preliminary hearing. This independent investigation did not charge Domenici with any allegations involving use of force.
The arbitrator’s decision requires Domenici to undergo a fitness-for-duty evaluation prior to her return to work. Once she returns to duty, she will be given her patrol assignment under the process governed by the union contract. That process allows officers to select their work location and shift by seniority.
BART continues to make strides to improve its policing services. They include establishing an early-warning system that tracks citizen complaints, use-of-force and other behavioral issues of officers in order to improve performance. Other substantial improvements include:
- Establishing the Office of the Independent Police Auditor & the initiation of the search to fill the Auditor position
- Beginning the recruitment process for an 11-member Citizen Review Board of the BART Police Department
- Increasing officer visibility in stations
- Substantially exceeding state training requirements to ensure officers’ knowledge & skills stay current and well-versed
- Establishing a Community Oriented Policing unit to build trust and establish long-lasting partnerships with the community
- Ensuring policies, practices, procedures and best practices are regularly updated
BART hired the law firm of Meyers Nave in February 2009 to conduct an independent internal affairs investigation into the actions of all the officers present during the events leading up to the shooting death of Oscar Grant on January 1, 2009 on the Fruitvale BART Station platform. This internal affairs investigation was an administrative procedure to determine if departmental policies and procedures were followed. It was completely separate from the criminal investigation. BART hired the firm to ensure the internal affairs investigation was independent and objective and that the public had confidence in the findings.
MarySol Domenici (MARY-sole Doh-men-KNEE-chee)
Meyer Nave (MI-ers NAH-vay)