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Committee Report

Committee Name: President’s Report

To: SEE DISTRIBUTION LIST


From: Sean Mattson, President
CC:
Date: 4/25/2017

INTRODUCTION
I write to each of you so there can be no possibility to misrepresent what I say. We are
on the verge of a very important decision and analysis that must not be taken lightly.
Full analysis should be done. It should be done properly. And we all need to go into the
conversation with the understanding that the catalyst that started this talk was the fact
that our current law firm, Yen, Pilch and Landeen was providing services that were
considered less-than-adequate. This is because:
1) YPL were sending their newest firm member, Michael Pang, out on critical
incidents.
2) PPSLA Expressed concerns about Michael’s abilities and the firm said they
would take a hard look at using him on callouts.
3) YPL were in the process of assigning Michael Pang to a current EBoard
Member after PPSLA Expressed their concerns of his abilities to represent.
4) YPL continued to send Michael on critical incidents (they have since stopped.)
5) YPL ask the member what path they would like to take in the representation
of their case.
6)Having now been exposed to an attorney who has in-depth knowledge of
Phoenix Police policies, practices and personnel, it is unlikely a firm that
represents multiple agencies will have a knowledge base such as this regarding
administrative cases.

​pg. ​1
 

Committee Report
It is important that the above was an attempt to capture the consensus of the
discussion and not a personal agreement with all the points. The conversation quickly
transitioned to an outside council, Mr. Serbalik. Not an evaluation of the benefits.

THE LAST TIME WE DID THIS


PPSLA has gone through multiple transitions of their legal plans since its inception and
my involvement in the board back in 2001. Every other time that we have done this we
have assigned a committee to do the research and report back to the board. The last
time we transitioned legal plans we did so as part of a package and recognized that we
were improving our entire package, not just the legal plan. Our pillars are:
Negotiations, Representation, Political Activity, Member Services, and Training and
Education. The transition to the FOP was an improvement to each pillar. The current
proposed transition could have a negative impact on each pillar. Even in aspects of
representation I fear there will be some losses in levels of service (i.e. criminal,
grievance, civil, class action, contract review and disputes).

SERBALIK PRESENTATION
During Mr. Serbalik’s presentation, he made several statements that I believe were
misleading, or untruthful, based on the information that I had. The board has expressed
to me that they disapprove of these tough questions. I asked some tough questions to
both law groups during the last transition. It is important that we are all well informed
with a potential legal partner.

This time, however, we did do it in front of the entire board. Experience, set up, even
negative rumors were covered. Honest and professional responses were provided by
both groups in the past process. Then and now, I asked tough questions. Some, I knew
the answer to and I anticipated an unfavorable response. Example: I asked AZCOPS how
they decided to take a case. I knew the answer but I needed them to say it. I also asked
the ALC/FOP how they handled corporate coverage. I knew the answer but I needed
them to say it.

Mr. Serbalik pitched a product that would include retaining his services and ​Peace
Officers Research Association of California​ PORAC. Based upon the information that I
have, PORAC will not accept us unless we become a member of the APA.

​pg. ​2
 

Committee Report
There were several tough questions that I asked, as I did the last time we researched
alternate legal plans. Some of the questions were not answered and I was discouraged
from continuing.

UNINTENDED ANCILLARY DAMAGE


Depending on how talks with the FOP go, we stand in jeopardy of losing our benefits
associated with them. Especially if we are not mindful and attentive during any
transition.

Benefits that we receive, use, and would have to be reworked or abandoned if we left
the FOP:

-VERIZON
-Free collage for members, spouses, kids and grandchildren
-FOP National Labor Services and Accountant Contract review. During contract talks we
have saved thousands on both services by being able to tap into National Labor Services.
-Website
-Legal Backup (Amicus from National). .
-Public relations firm of LeboSolo (Brochures, editorials, other print work)
-State voice at the legislature, through lobbyists
-National voice through lobbyists in DC
-Assistance on lobbying the CIty
-A greater ability to endorse on all three levels
-Seminar travel reimbursement (nearly $10k each year)
-Force multiplier on charitable causes and charity events
-We would need to identify an alternate home other than the planned Lodge 2 if the
PPSLA Building sells.
-The ALC is currently funding the first $5,500 of our legal battles with the DRC matter.
-YPL is currently representing our in matters including the biggest, buybacks and the
Hall/Parker case. A move from current council would be upsetting the apple cart in
these matters and PPSLA would be left out in the cold. These issues are the two biggest
items that I am asked about from the membership.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST
As I reported to Mr. Serbalik, I believe his manner of representing more than one
employee on the same case is improper. This was later reported to the Legal
counselor’s seminar in Las Vegas to a room full of dozens of lawyers. The case cited was

​pg. ​3
 

Committee Report
out of Bear Creek, Ohio. I reported this to the Board. I also believe that having a
standing practice of representing PLEA members and PPSLA members is also improper
and opens both PPSLA and Mr. Serbalik up to liability.

TRUST AND RELATIONSHIPS


I have cited examples of Mr. Serbalik’s actions that have impacted my ability to trust
him as a partner with PPSLA or its members. I hope that we can start on a fresh foot if
the board decides to move forward with a new legal plan that includes him.

COUTNER OFFERS
I have attempted to offer several counteroffers and tried to seek common ground for
ideas and plans that would include Mr. Serbalik. This includes introducing him to the
NFOP Legal plan and a supplemental PPSLA legal plan that would cover gaps such as
corporation coverage, court orders and flexibility of hiring outside council. Even
research other legal options

WHO DOES THE WORK AND WHAT IF THIS DOESN’T WORK


Who will take on the large undertaking if we decide to transition? If there are reported
issues with the new set up are we prepared to move on as well?

IF WE TRANSITION
If we did transition, I would be strongly opposed unless we could be granted assurances
of:

-Stay part of the FOP or another state and national plan to have a voice
-Verizon benefit continues and no additional workload is generated
-We create a contract or a legal policy that prohibit representation of multiple members
on the same case
-Include in the contract that Mr. Serbalik would stop taking clients who are active law
enforcement officers but not members
-Had assurances that criminal legal coverage for our members would get taken care of
-The new plan would contain the same or more coverage of our current plan
-The price of the plan would be the same as it is now and would not go up
-On larger cases (criminal and class action) there would still be the same level of service
that we currently have

​pg. ​4
 

Committee Report
-Willing to take over representation of all preexisting matters involving PPSLA or its
members

SUMMARY
Mr. Serbalik has established himself as a competent lawyer who in my opinion is
untrustworthy and has committed to services he lacks the authority to provide. ​ I
oppose any continued work with him at this time.

DISTRIBUTION: Pat Tortorici, Vice President


Mark Schweikert, Secretary
Ben Leuschner, Treasurer
James Smith, Trustee
Mark Vasquez, Trustee
Rolando Vazquez, Trustee

​pg. ​5

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