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Sheffield To Contest Firing

Former APA leader ousted from CLEAT

By Jordan Smith, Fri., July 22, 2011

Sheffield To Contest Firing

Mike Sheffield, the retired Austin Police Department detective who was president of the Austin Police Associa­tion for eight years before retiring in 2006, was fired July 18 from his job as a field representative and training coordinator with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, the state's largest police union. The reason? CLEAT Executive Direct­or John Burpo isn't saying, and neither is Sheffield – that is, he isn't disclosing (for now, at least) the official reason Burpo cited for his termination, but it seems not all is well in cop union paradise. (At press time, Burpo hadn't returned a phone call from the Chronicle and declined to comment to the Statesman.) Sheffield says he's in the process of retaining an attorney and that he will appeal his termination to an arbitrator. Moreover, he says he'll file a complaint with the federal National Labor Rela­tions Board, via his local union (interestingly, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 88), because he believes his termination is "in large part" related to his candidacy in a run-off election to become president of the CLEAT staff union. "It's very clear, in my opinion, that the executive director of CLEAT was using any excuse in an effort to influence the outcome of that election," says the retired detective. Stay tuned, because there's clearly more to come on this one.

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