Philadelphia’s Board of Ethics and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) are fighting in federal court over whether officers can contribute to their union’s political action committee.
The Philadelphia FOP wants its members to be able to send money to the political action committee directly from their paychecks. Marc Gelman, FOP Attorney, says the officers just want their freedom of speech.
“The city has chosen to apply restrictions upon police officers that it doesn’t apply to any other employee It’s discriminatory it violates their guarantees of equal protection and free speech,” said Gelman.
The City’s attorneys, who refused to be interviewed, say if union members want to contribute to their PAC, they need to change Philadelphia’s City Charter.
But Gene Blagmond of the FOP says back during the Street administration a law was approved allowing them to make the donations.
“All the other unions except the police union have the right to contribute to politicians in the city and state and we just want to have the same right,” said Blagmond.
Federal Court Judge Juan Sanchez has not ruled on the matter.