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Arbitrator says Freeburg justified in cops firing

FREEBURG, Ill. (AP) - A state arbitrator says a southwestern Illinois village acted appropriately when officials fired two police officers who pulled pranks on colleagues, broke into the evidence locker and damaged police property.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports arbitrator Gerard Fowler has ruled the conduct of John Blomenkamp and Steve Burrows "was so egregious and so harmful to the prosecution of future cases that the village was well advised to terminate their employment as police officers."
 A lawyer for the officers had argued that 4,300-resident St. Clair County village's actions against his clients may have been politically motivated by their union activities.
Blomenkamp and Burrows had sought their jobs back and pay retroactive to their firings in August of last year.

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