38-1101. Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Appeal" means a hearing before a state or local merit board, a civil service board, an administrative law judge or a hearing officer.

2. "At will" means an employment relationship where either party to the relationship may sever the relationship at any time for any reason other than an unlawful reason.

3. "Disciplinary action" means the dismissal, the demotion or any suspension of a law enforcement officer that is a result of misconduct or unsatisfactory performance.

4. "Excusable neglect" means neglect or inadvertence that might be the act of a reasonably prudent person under similar circumstances.

5. "Good faith" means honesty of purpose and absence of intent to defraud.

6. "Investigative file" means the law enforcement agency's complete report and any attachments detailing the incidents leading to the disciplinary action, including complaints, audio recordings, video recordings, photographs, witness statements and exculpatory and mitigating evidence.

7. "Just cause" means:

(a) The employer informed the law enforcement officer of the possible disciplinary action resulting from the officer's conduct through agency manuals, employee handbooks, the employer's rules and regulations or other communications to the officer or the conduct was such that the officer should have reasonably known disciplinary action could occur.

(b) The disciplinary action is reasonably related to the standards of conduct for a professional law enforcement officer, the mission of the agency, the orderly, efficient or safe operation of the agency or the officer's fitness for duty.

(c) The discipline is supported by a preponderance of evidence that the conduct occurred.

(d) The discipline is not excessive and is reasonably related to the seriousness of the offense and the officer's service record.

8. "Law enforcement officer" means:

(a) An individual, other than a probationary employee, who is certified by the Arizona peace officer standards and training board, other than a person employed by a multi-county water conservation district.

(b) A detention or corrections officer, other than a probationary employee or juvenile detention officer, who is employed by this state or a political subdivision of this state.

(c) A nonprobationary regularly appointed and paid deputy sheriff of a county.

(d) A nonprobationary regularly employed police officer in a city or town.