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Even though he later returned to work for the city, he was subject to newer compensation policies.

Officer Jeff Chione argued that he should be allowed to earn the amount of annual leave that is afforded to employees who were hired before July 1994 because he joined the city five years before that cutoff mark. The city, however, notes that he left the city in 1992 and that his leave allowance should be linked to his rehire date in 1995, after the stricter leave cap was enacted.

“The city as an employer needs to make it very clear that if you leave your employment, you’ve left,” Councilman Jim Madaffer said. He added, “it’s not fair for somebody to come back under the old set of rules.”

Bill Farrar, a board member of the police union, told the council that the city’s policy was contradictory. The city was allowing Chione to accumulate leave time at the rates that were in place before he left the force, but he was being confined to the current limits for leave time, he said.

Police Officers Association President Bill Nemec said the union has not yet decided whether to take the dispute to court.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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