Arbirator's Authority to Reinstate a Police Officer Diacharged for Using Excessive Force Against Teenagers

In Town of South Windsor v. South Windsor Police Union Local 1480, 255 Conn. 800, 770 A.2d 14 (2001), an arbitrator ordered the reinstatement of a police officer who had been discharged after he used excessive force against a group of teenagers who had illegally entered a gymnasium. The Connecticut Supreme Court upheld the arbitrator's decision. Applying legal standards identical to those used by Illinois courts, the court rejected the municipality's contention that the arbitrators' decision was contrary to "the public policy requiring the confidence of the public in its police force with respect to matters of public safety." Town of South Windsor, 255 Conn. at 824, 770 A.2d at 28. The court explained that "this general consideration fails to meet the test that 'the public policy exception to arbitral authority should be narrowly construed and limited to situations where the contract as interpreted would violate some explicit public policy that is well defined and dominant, and is to be ascertained by reference to the laws and legal precedents and not from general considerations of supposed public interests.' " Town of South Windsor, 255 Conn. at 824, 770 A.2d at 28, quoting Groton v. United Steelworkers of America, 254 Conn. 35, 46, 757 A.2d 501, 509 (2000).