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Judge bars Phoenix from paying for police union time

PHOENIX — A judge is prohibiting Phoenix from paying police union
officials for time spent on union activities.

Judge Katherine Cooper of Maricopa County Superior Court issued a preliminary
injunction against so-called “release time” provided by the city to the
Phoenix Law Enforcement Association.

Cooper’s order in a case filed by Goldwater Institute on behalf of taxpayers
said release time appears to violate the Arizona Constitution’s gift clause by
using public money for private purposes.

The gift clause bars using public money to benefit individuals, associations or
companies without providing direct tangible benefits for the public.

Cooper’s order covers a $1 million allocation release time under an agreement
that ends June 30.

The Goldwater Institute said it will try to extend the ruling to a new
agreement taking effect July 1.