The union voted to extend dues for a “war chest.” It additionally employed a brand new chief negotiator: Ron DeLord.

After town sued over a contract provision it claimed was unconstitutional, the union’s longtime president, Michael Helle, organized assault adverts concentrating on Ms. Sculley. In an interview, Mr. Helle bragged about “how a lot I obtained beneath her pores and skin.” He mentioned the adverts, which frequently had unflattering close-ups of her face, preyed on her vainness. They accused her of being an overpaid, wasteful power-monger who thought cops made an excessive amount of cash.

The union additionally scoured by way of her bills and publicized funds that the union felt have been questionable, he mentioned.

Mr. DeLord’s guide advises unions to comb by way of public information about any “enemy.” The New York Instances discovered that unions nationwide deployed the tactic to intimidate metropolis officers or overwhelm them with paperwork. In Denver, as an example, the union filed a public-records request in 2016 asking town’s police monitor for voluminous information from its investigations.

“I’m positive they’re sweating bullets now,” the union president wrote in an e mail to the union’s lawyer, obtained by way of a public-records request. “Let’s make them pay on this one.”

In San Antonio, after two years of preventing, a choose overseeing the lawsuit ordered town and the union into mediation. The deal would restrict the authorized fund and make officers contribute to some well being care premiums. Each side claimed victory.

But Ms. Sculley, who later wrote a book in regards to the metropolis’s wrestle, mentioned in an interview she was dissatisfied that years of negotiations hadn’t achieved extra.

Whereas the up to date contract has minimize prices, it continues to present officers disciplinary protections that some metropolis officers and residents really feel impede good policing. In lots of cases, infractions various years previous can’t be thought-about throughout disciplinary proceedings — in impact, erasing them from assessment. And arbitrators, not metropolis officers, finally resolve whether or not an officer is fired.

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