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Breach of Confidential Information in PCSD Legal Battle

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 01:22:32-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — It's a major development in the legal fight over pay for Sheriff's deputies.

This time, an emergency hearing held Tuesday afternoon.

I just learned about the hearing Tuesday so we couldn't get a camera in the courtroom, but I sat in on the entire court proceeding.

It's a story you'll only see on KGUN9.

A disturbing discovery by the union.

Five documents that clearly show they are attorney client privileged end up on the other side of the legal table.

"We found out recently to be in the hands of defendants, Napier and Woolridge," said Eric Cevantes, PCDSA president.

The union's attorney told the judge Sheriff Mark Napier and Chief Karl Woolridge somehow got the documents illegally and concealed they had them for more than a year, and that "Pima County admits" they had the same privileged documents too.

And not just any documents.

They disclosed tactical legal strategies over the course of lengthy legal fight.

"That was absolutely a breach and should be taken seriously and that's why we asked for an emergency hearing," said Eric Cevantes, PCDSA president.

The union, wanting a special master to investigate the scope of the breach.

"How long have they been in possession and how long they have been in possession and who provided it, so that is something we are going to be hopeful to get the answer from this investigation from this investigation," said Eric Cevantes, PCDSA president.

The law firm representing Napier and Woolridge, Snell and Wilmer, argued that the 5 documents were "inadvertently" disclosed, and the firm promised to take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

The judge Cathryn Khun sided with the union, and ordered a special master be appointed to investigate the breach, and the defendants Napier, Woolridge and the County would have to pay the costs.

The judge also ruled that every effort must be made to ensure there no more breaches, and the documents remain privileged.

This will also delay the trial date.

We'll, of course, continue to follow any developments.