final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower
Tribunal No. 11-3030 Peter R. Lopez, Judge.
Guttman Valdes, for appellant.
Abigail Price-Williams, Miami-Dade County Attorney, and
William X. Candela and Eric A. Rodriguez, Assistant County
Attorneys, for appellee.
LAGOA, FERNANDEZ and LUCK, JJ.
plaintiff, Antonio Roberts (Roberts), appeals the trial
court's order granting the defendant, Miami-Dade
County's, motion for summary judgment. We affirm. See
Bello v. Miami-Dade County, 167 So.3d 464 (Fla. 3d DCA
was a Miami-Dade County (County) police officer. He was also
a member of the law enforcement bargaining unit represented
by the Dade County Police Benevolent Association (PBA). The
PBA has a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the
County that governs the terms and conditions of employment of
law enforcement personnel, including a police officer such as
was arrested and indicted in 2008 on federal charges. He was
notified of his dismissal via a letter dated September 18,
2008, signed by Miami-Dade Police Director Robert Parker. The
letter advised Roberts that he was dismissed from employment
with the Miami-Dade Police Department, effective September
26, 2008. The September 18, 2008 dismissal letter also
notified Roberts that he had fourteen days from receipt of
the letter to request in writing an appeal pursuant to
Section 2-47 of the Miami-Dade County Code.
September 25, 2008, Miami-Dade Police Sergeant Lorenzo
Gilbert spoke with Roberts by phone about the termination
letter signed by Police Director Parker, and Roberts
confirmed that he was aware of his termination date but was
unavailable to meet with Sergeant Gilbert that day. Sergeant
Gilbert eventually met Roberts on September 27, 2008 and gave
him the letter.
October 8, 2008, Roberts's criminal defense attorney sent
a letter to the County appealing Roberts's termination
pursuant to Section 2-47 of the Miami-Dade County Code. This
letter was received by the County on October 10, 2008 and
date-stamped with this date. The County's Labor
Management Division denied the request for an appeal hearing
and advised Roberts that his request was untimely. Roberts
did not file a grievance as required by the CBA.
October 27, 2009, a Judgment of Acquittal was issued by the
federal court in the federal criminal case in which Roberts
was a defendant. Still, no grievance had been filed by
Roberts regarding the denial of the appeal hearing. On March
19, 2010, Roberts's new counsel wrote to the County
requesting temporary reinstatement and back pay for Roberts
as a result of his acquittal. On April 14, 2010, a County
Labor Management Specialist wrote to Roberts's new
counsel and advised that the request for an appeal hearing
under Section 2-47 of the Code would be processed for a
hearing before a Hearing Examiner, but the only issue that
would be considered was the timeliness of Roberts's
request for an appeal.
hearing took place in October 2010. In November 2010, the
Hearing Examiner issued his decision to the parties. In the
decision, the Hearing Examiner noted that the CBA makes the
refusal to process an appeal or follow time limits expressly
grievable. The Hearing Examiner concluded that the date of
notice of termination to Roberts was September 25, 2008, and
thus, Roberts's request for a hearing received by the
County on October 10, 2008 was untimely, as the hearing must
be requested within fourteen days. Roberts did not file a
grievance after the Hearing Examiner's determination.
2011, Roberts's counsel filed a complaint for declaratory
and injunctive relief in state court seeking compliance with
the temporary reinstatement provision of section 2-47 of the
Code. During the remainder ...