NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- A district judge for Clark County has ruled against the city of North Las Vegas in its ongoing union battle.
The police and firefighters union sued the city when former city manager Tim Hacker declared emergency powers to suspend union contracts.
The city said it was the only way to avoid large numbers of public employee layoffs.
Judge Susan Johnson said the move was illegal. The ruling could result in the city having to pay union members back pay that could amount to $25 million.
"We're not surprised. The law is pretty cut and dry on the ability for the city and the union," International Association of Fire Fighters President Jeff Hurley said, "That portion doesn't shock me. Where do we go from here? I don't know the answer yet. Maybe the mayor has some ideas. We're excited to see and hear some of his great ideas."
Union representatives tell the I-Team they expect to negotiate with the city to prevent any bankruptcy.
Mayor John L. Lee released this statement late Tuesday afternoon:
"While we are weighing our legal options, we are committed to working with our partners to solve the challenges facing North Las Vegas, and believe the new spirit of cooperation and commitment to solving historic problems will be tested as we work out these challenges."
Lee called the decision a stepping stone to resolving issues that have distracted, divided and paralyzed the community.