MADISON, Wisc. (CN) – The Wisconsin Department of Corrections sued a parole agents union, challenging an arbitrator’s decision to reinstate two agents who were charged with possession of cocaine. The drug charges were dropped and the agents pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction, according to the complaint in Dane County Court.
The state agency sued Wisconsin State Employees Union AFSCME Council 24-AFL-CIO.
The prison agency reprimanded parole and probation agents Paul Marx and Bobbi Knar “pursuant to a DOC investigation into allegations against Knar and Marx that they used cocaine at a party with offenders under DOC supervision,” according to the complaint.
The Dane County District Attorney charged Marx, 29, and Knar, 26, with possession of cocaine and obstructing an officer, and they pleaded guilty to obstruction, the complaint states. The prison department fired them after the June 2008 pleas, citing violations of their “Work Rules No. 6, prohibiting obstructing, and No. 11, prohibiting criminal violations.”
The union challenged the firings and an arbitrator ordered the prisons to reinstate the agents. The DOC says the arbitrator exceeded her powers, in violating of law and public policy. It wants the reinstatements vacated.