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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Alaska Police Standards Council v. Parcell (4/17/2015) sp-6999

Alaska Police Standards Council v. Parcell (4/17/2015) sp-6999

        Notice:  This opinion is subject to correction before publication in the PACIFIC REPORTER .  

        Readers are requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts,  

         303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878, email  


ALASKA POLICE                                          )  

STANDARDS COUNCIL,                                     )  

                                                       )   Supreme Court No. S-15364  

                         Appellant,                    )  

                                                       )   Superior Court No. 1JU-12-00728 CI  

        v.                                             )  

                                                       )   O P I N I O N  

LANCE PARCELL,                                         )  

                                                       )   No. 6999 - April 17, 2015  

                         Appellee.                     )  


                 Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, First  


                 Judicial District, Juneau, Louis J. Menendez, Judge.  

                 Appearances:  Kathryn R. Vogel, Assistant Attorney General,  

                 Anchorage,  and  Michael  C.  Geraghty,  Attorney  General,  

                 Juneau,  for  Appellant.    Stephen  F.  Sorensen,  Simpson,  

                 Tillinghast,   Sorensen,   &   Sheehan,   P.C.,   Juneau,      for  


                 Before:  Fabe, Chief Justice, Winfree, Stowers, Maassen, and  


                 Bolger, Justices.  

                 WINFREE, Justice.  


                 The level of deference we afford to an underlying decision often is key to  


the  resolution  of  an  appeal,  and  this  case  makes  that  point  crystal  clear.    A  police  

officer's employment was terminated for abuse of alcohol, sexually offensive remarks  

made  to  two  female  officers,  and  alleged  dishonesty  during  the  subsequent  police  

----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

investigation. An arbitrator concluded that terminating the officer's employment was an                 

excessive penalty and ordered the officer's reinstatement.   The superior court affirmed  

the arbitration decision and we affirmed the superior court based on the deference that   

must be given to an arbitration decision. However, the Alaska Police Standards Council                               

revoked the officer's police certificate after concluding that the officer was not of good                                                     

moral character and was dishonest.                                  The superior court reversed the decision to revoke,  

substituting its judgment for the Council's.  But because the Council's decision, like that   

of the arbitrator, is entitled to deference, we reverse the superior court's decision and   

affirm the Council's decision to revoke the officer's police certificate.    


                         This is the second time the underlying facts of this case have come before               

us.    In  2006  the  Airport   Police  and  Fire  Department  of  the  Alaska  Department  of  

Transportation  terminated  Lance  Parcell's  employment  for  harassing  conduct  and  

evasiveness  during  the  Department's  subsequent  review.    In  State  v.  Public  Safety  


Employees Ass'n (PSEA 2010)  we affirmed a superior court decision refusing to vacate 


a labor arbitrator's decision to reinstate Parcell.2  

                         The Alaska Police Standards Council subsequently revoked Parcell's police  

certificate, but the superior court on appeal reversed the Council's decision. The Council  


now appeals from the superior court's decision.  

                         In PSEA 2010 we introduced most of the relevant factual background:   

                          [Parcell]   had   been                    employed              as     an      officer   with              the  

                         Department  for  approximately  four  years  when  he  was  

                         terminated on August 24, 2006.  The termination was based  


                         on two events that occurred in May 2006 while [Parcell] was  


             1           235 P.3d 197(Alaska 2010).  

             2           Id. at 203.  

                                                                               -2-                                                                              6999  

----------------------- Page 3-----------------------

working at the Alaska Law Enforcement Academy in Sitka,  

Alaska  and  on  [Parcell's]  conduct  during  the  subsequent  


          On  May  5,  2006,  [Parcell]  and  two  other  training  

officers  went  to   a   bar  in  Sitka,  and  [Parcell]  became  


extremely intoxicated. While at the bar, [Parcell] slid toward  


a female officer on a couch and made inappropriate sexual  

remarks, telling her "that he wanted to make her come, that  

he  could  make  her  scream,  [and]  that  he  could  push  her  


buttons."  The female officer told him to stop, but he repeated  

the  comments  several  times.  Because  [Parcell]  was  too  

intoxicated to walk home that night, another officer drove  


him home.  When they returned to the Academy, [Parcell]  

vomited outside and then, after the hallways were cleared of  


recruits, he was helped into an Academy building to a room  

where  he  could  sleep.    [Parcell]  apologized  to  the  female  

officer in person the following day and by email several days  


later.  [Parcell] stated during the internal investigation and to  


the  arbitrator  that  he  does  not  remember  making  these  


inappropriate remarks to the female officer.  

          On the evening of May 17, 2006, [Parcell] stared at  


another female officer while they were watching television  

and  later  sent  her  unwelcome  text  messages  in  which  he  


invited her to "go on a beer run," "go out and have fun," and  


join him in the room where training officers are allowed to  


sleep to "talk to him if she wanted."   She told him to stop  


sending  the  messages,  but  he  continued  to  do  so.  The  

following morning, [Parcell] sent the officer an email calling  


her his "sexy new friend," telling her she had "a great [a]ss"  


and "very nice tits," and stating that he wanted to see her  


nipple rings.  The female officer wrote an email expressing  


her anger with his behavior, and [Parcell] subsequently sent  


her an email apology. [Parcell] testified at arbitration that he  


was up all night drinking prior to sending the email, a fact  

supported  by  the  female  officer's  statement  during  the  

investigation that she  smelled alcohol on [Parcell] when she  


saw him that morning.  

                                          -3-                                                        6999

----------------------- Page 4-----------------------

                   Following         these   events,   another           officer      filed    a  

          complaint regarding [Parcell's] behavior.  Upon receiving the  

          complaint, Lauri Burkmire, Chief of the Department, initiated  

          an administrative inquiry, assigning a lieutenant to conduct  

          witness  interviews  and  a  site  visit.    In  his  report,  the  

          lieutenant "concluded that [Parcell's] conduct violated . . .  


          Department rules relating to unbecoming conduct, courtesy,  

          sexual harassment, private conduct and truthfulness, immoral  

          conduct (deception), and harassment" and identified "eight  

          instances in which he felt [Parcell] had been less than truthful  


          in the investigation."  

                   After  reviewing   the   report,  Chief  Burkmire  sent  

          [Parcell] a letter directing him to attend a meeting on August  


          18, 2006 to discuss "inconsistencies in your claims and your  


          honesty regarding this matter." She reminded [Parcell] of his  


          obligation to be honest and warned that failure to do so could  


          result in his dismissal.  [Parcell] attended the meeting with his  


          representative          from       [the     Public       Safety       Employees  

          Association] and, according to the arbitrator, admitted that he  


          had not been honest in his interview with the lieutenant.  At  


          arbitration,  [Parcell]  testified  that  his  dishonesty  in  his  


          interview        during       the     investigation          was      limited       to  

          downplaying  the  extent  of  his  drinking.    Chief  Burkmire  

          terminated [Parcell] several days after their meeting.  

                    [Parcell]   testified   at   arbitration   that   immediately  

          following  his  termination,  he  enrolled  in  an  outpatient  

          alcoholic       treatment        program,         which       he     successfully  

          completed  in  eight  months.    At  the  time  of  his  testimony  


          before the arbitrator, he claimed he had been sober for fifteen  

          months. He acknowledged that his remarks on May 5 and his  


          email of May 18 were "inappropriate and rude," admitted that  


          he had "failed to uphold the high standard of his profession,"  



          and stated that he was "very ashamed of his behavior."  

3         Id. at 199-200 (internal footnote omitted).  

                                                   -4-                                                       6999  

----------------------- Page 5-----------------------

The parties in this case stipulated to these facts and they are quoted verbatim in the  

Council's decision.  


                   After  the  Department  terminated  Parcell  the  Public  Safety  Employees  



Association filed a grievance on his behalf, and the matter eventually went to arbitration. 

The arbitrator found, in relevant part, that: (1) Parcell's behavior was "totally contrary  


to [his] professional responsibility," "sexually offensive," and "as far over the line as one  

could imagine"; and (2) "although the Department did not establish that [Parcell] had  


lied,  it  did  prove  that  he  'was  evasive,  misleading  and  not  forthcoming'  in  the  

                                 5  By only "the slimmest margin" the arbitrator found that Parcell  

investigatory process."                                                                               

should be reinstated.  The Department then moved in the superior court to vacate the  


arbitration decision, but the superior court denied the Department's request.  


                   The Department appealed to this court and in PSEA 2010 we affirmed the  

superior  court's  decision,  noting  the    "deferential  standard"  afforded  arbitration  


                                                                                      And we explained that "[i]f  

decisions, which was "key to the decision we reach[ed]." 

we were reviewing this case in the first instance, or under a less deferential standard, we  


likely would not have reached this conclusion."7  


                   While Parcell's employment matter was progressing, the Alaska Police  

Standards  Council  independently  sought  to  revoke  Parcell's  police  certificate.    The  

revocation proceedings were stayed pending resolution of the employment matter, but  


after  our  PSEA  2010  decision  the  Council  served  Parcell  with  its  "Third  Amended  

Accusation"  and  resumed  the  revocation  proceedings.    The  thrust  of  the  Council's  

          4        Id. at 200.  

          5        Id. (alteration in original).  

          6        Id. at 201.  

          7        Id. at 202.  

                                                             -5-                                                       6999

----------------------- Page 6-----------------------

position  was  that  because  Parcell  lacked  good  moral  character  and  was  dishonest,  

revocation of Parcell's certificate was appropriate.  


                        A hearing officer was appointed, but Parcell and the Council agreed that an  

evidentiary hearing was unnecessary and stipulated to the facts noted in our PSEA 2010  


decision.  The hearing officer found that the Council did not meet its burden in proving  

that:  (1) Parcell had been discharged for cause;8 or (2) Parcell is not a person of good  


moral character.   The hearing officer therefore concluded that revocation of Parcell's  


police  certificate  was  unwarranted,  stating  that  "[p]er  the  stipulation  of  the  parties,  

Parcell's  conduct  was  egregious,  rude,  and  grossly  offensive"  but  not  sufficient  to  

establish a lack of good moral character.  


                        The Council disagreed with the hearing officer's proposed decision and  


pursued revocation.     Parcell provided the Council additional evidence to establish his  


good moral character.  The Council issued a written decision evaluating whether Parcell:  


(1)  had been  terminated for conduct that "would cause a reasonable person to have  


substantial doubt about [his] honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and for  

            8           See 13 Alaska Administrative Code (AAC) 85.110(b)(3) (2014) (requiring       

revocation when an officer "has been discharged . . . from employment as a police officer                                      

in  this state or any other state or territory for cause for conduct that would cause                                                                      a  

reasonable person to have substantial doubt about an individual's honesty, fairness, and   

respect for the rights of others").  

            9           See  13 AAC 85.110(a)(3) (providing for discretionary discharge when an  


officier  "does  not  meet  the  standards  in  13  AAC  85.010(a)  or  (b)");  13  AAC  

85.010(a)(3)  (requiring  that  a  person  hired  as  a  police  officer  "is  of  good  moral  


            10          AS 44.62.500 allows agencies to adopt hearing officer decisions, but an  


agency is not required to adopt a hearing officer's decision and "may decide the case  


upon the record, including the transcript, with or without taking additional evidence, or  

may refer the case to the same or another hearing officer to take additional evidence."  

                                                                            -6-                                                                     6999

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                                    11                                                                   12 

the laws of this state";    and (2) is not of "good moral character."                                        In addition to the  


evidence of Parcell's inappropriate sexually offensive remarks, the Council considered  


the   evidence   that   he   had   been   dishonest   during   the   department's   subsequent  

investigation, stating:  


                     Parcell "was evasive, misleading, and not forthcoming". . .  


                     [and t]he agreed upon facts, the arbitrator decision, superior  


                     court order, and Supreme Court opinion leave no room to  

                     debate that [the Department chief and investigating officer]  


                     are of the opinion that Parcell was dishonest in eight specific  

                     instances during the administrative investigation.  Parcell's  

                     engaging [in] the dishonest behavior renders him unable to  


                     effectively perform the duties of a law enforcement officer in  


                     connection   with   making                   applications   to   the   court   -  


                     including search and arrest warrant applications, and court  



                     The Council concluded that Parcell "is not a person the citizens of our great  


State of Alaska can entrust with private personal information, the lives and safety of  

themselves and their loved ones, and be counted on to do the right things for the right  


reasons" and that his "dishonesty significantly and substantially impairs his ability to  


perform  the  responsibilities  of  a  law  enforcement  officer."    The  Council  revoked  

Parcell's certificate.  Parcell appealed to the superior court.  

                     The   superior   court   concluded   that   the   Council's   moral   character  


determination was not entitled to deference because good moral character "is a standard  


eligibility requirement in professions serving  the public" so its meaning "is not one  

           11         13 AAC 85.110(b)(3).  

           12         13 AAC 85.110(a)(3) ("The council will, in its discretion, revoke a . . .     

certificate  upon   a   finding  that  the  holder  .  .  .  does  not  meet  the  standards  in  

13 AAC 85.010(a) or (b)."); 13 AAC 85.010(a)(3) ("A participating police department       

may  not  hire  a  person  as  a  police  officer  unless  the  person   .  .  .  is  of  good  moral  


                                                                  -7-                                                            6999

----------------------- Page 8-----------------------

unique to the Council."  The court agreed with the hearing officer's statement that a  


person lacking good moral character has character flaws "that are ingrained, lasting, or  

causing consistent behavioral or decision making problems."  The court then summarized  

various certificate-revocation decisions from other jurisdictions involving police officers  

who  had  behaved  more  egregiously  than  Parcell.    It  faulted  the  Council  for  not  


considering the good aspects of Parcell's character, including his employment for four  

years before the May 2006 incidents, his maintaining sobriety since the incidents, and  


that  he  "was  actively  engaged  in  the  community,  and  had  the  support  of  his  local  


[r]abbi."  Finally, the court concluded that the Council's interpretation of "good moral  

character" was unreasonable.  

                   The superior court also reviewed the Council's finding that Parcell had been  

dishonest.    The  court  concluded  that  the  finding  was  not  supported  by  substantial  

evidence  and  disagreed  that  Parcell's  conduct  "would  be  considered  exculpatory  


information in cases in which he is involved, such that the arbitrator's findings would  

preclude Parcell from performing his duties as a police officer."  

                   The Council appeals.  


                   "Where the superior court is acting as an intermediate court of appeals, we  


directly  review  the  agency  decision.    Questions  of  fact  are  reviewed  for  substantial  

evidence.    Questions  of  law  involving  agency  expertise  are  reviewed  using  the  


reasonable [or rational] basis test . . . ."              We have explained that:  

                   [T]wo circumstances generally call for rational basis review:  

                   (1) "where the agency is making law by creating standards to  

         13        West  v.  Municipality  of  Anchorage,  174  P.3d  224,  226  (Alaska  2007)  

(internal footnotes omitted) (citing  Thoeni v. Consumer Elec. Servs., 151 P.3d 1249,  

1253 (Alaska 2007); State v. Pub. Safety Emps. Ass'n, 3 P.3d 409, 413 (Alaska 2004)).  


                                                          -8-                                                    6999

----------------------- Page 9-----------------------

                    be used in evaluating the case before it and future cases," and  


                    (2)  "when  a  case  requires  resolution  of  policy  questions  

                    which  lie  within  the  agency's  area  of  expertise  and  are  


                    inseparable         from       the    fact's      underlying         the     agency's  



"Where questions of law do not involve agency expertise, the appropriate standard of  


review is 'substitution of judgment . . . .' "15  "We review an agency's application of its  


own regulations for whether the agency's decision was 'arbitrary, unreasonable, or an  

abuse of discretion.' "16  


          A.	       It Was Error To Apply The Substitution Of Judgment Standard To  


                    The Council's Decision On Good Moral Character.  

                    Noting the "primary public interest that applicants meet minimum standards  

for employment as police officers"17 the legislature created the Alaska Police Standards  



Council.         The Council may "establish minimum standards for employment as a police  


officer"19 and the Council may establish mandatory qualifications for police officers  

"including minimum age, education, physical and mental standards, moral character,  

          14        W. States Fire Protection Co. v. Municipality of Anchorage                              , 146 P.3d 986,  

989 (Alaska 2006) (quoting Tesoro Alaska Petroleum Co. v. Kenai Pipe Line Co., 746  

P.2d 896, 903 (Alaska 1987)).  

          15        Alaska Exch. Carriers Ass'n v. Regulatory Comm'n of Alaska , 202 P.3d  

458, 460 (Alaska 2009) (quoting Tesoro Alaska Petroleum Co., 746 P.2d at 903).  




                    Id. at 461 (quoting  Griffiths v. Andy's Body & Frame, Inc., 165 P.3d 619,  

623 (Alaska 2007)).  

          17        AS 18.65.130.  

          18        AS 18.65.140.  

          19        AS 18.65.220.  

                                                               -9-	                                                        6999

----------------------- Page 10-----------------------



and experience."             If an applicant satisfies the Council's mandatory qualifications,  then  

"[t]he [C]ouncil shall issue a certificate evidencing satisfaction of the requirements."21  


But if a police officer fails to continue to satisfy the Council's standards, the Council  


may revoke the officer's certificate.                      


                    The Council has adopted regulations establishing grounds for mandatory  

                23                                                                  24 

revocation     and  grounds  for  discretionary  revocation.                              The  Council  may  in  its  

discretion revoke an officer's certificate if the officer is not "of good moral character."25  

In its regulations the Council has defined good moral character as:  


                   the absence of acts or conduct that would cause a reasonable  


                   person  to  have  substantial  doubts  about  an  individual's  


                   honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and for  

                   the laws of this state and the United States; for purposes of  

                   this  standard,  a  determination  of  lack  of  "good  moral  

          20       AS 18.65.240(a) (emphasis added).  

          21       AS 18.65.240(b).  

          22       AS 18.65.240(c).  

          23        13  AAC  85.110(b)   (requiring  revocation  for   conviction  of  a  felony,  

conviction of specific misdemeanors, use, possession, or sale of controlled substances,  

and "discharge[] . . . as a police officer  . . . for conduct that would cause a reasonable  


person to have substantial doubt about an individual's honesty, fairness, and respect for  

the rights of others and for the laws of this state").   

          24        13 AAC 85.110(a) (granting the Council discretion  to  revoke  a certificate  

for falsification   or omissions in a certificate application, for discharge or resignation  

under threat of discharge for reasons that  adversely affect  the officer's ability to perform  

duties, and for failure to meet the basic standards for police officers).  



                   See 13 AAC 85.110(a)(3) (providing for discretionary revocation when an  


officer "does not meet the standards in 13 AAC 85.010(a) or (b)"); 13 AAC 85.010(a)(3)  


(explaining that a department may not hire a person as an officer unless the person "is  

of good moral character").  

                                                            -10-                                                       6999

----------------------- Page 11-----------------------


                   character"  may  be  based  upon  all  aspects  of  a  person's  


                   character . . . .  

                   We  must  determine  the  amount  of  deference  owed  to  the  Council's  


application of its regulations.  The Council's Third Amended Accusation included two  

counts for revocation:  (1) mandatory revocation under 13 AAC 85.110(b)(3) - due to  

Parcell's discharge from the Department; and (2) discretionary revocation under 13 AAC  


85.110(a)(3) - due to Parcell's lack of good moral character.  In its Final Decision the  

Council concluded that discretionary revocation was appropriate because Parcell was not  

of good moral character.27  


                   The   superior   court   concluded   that   the   Council's   moral   character  


determination  was  not  entitled  to  deference  because  moral  character  "is  a  standard  

eligibility requirement in professions serving the public" and "not one that requires the  

Council's specialized knowledge or technical expertise."  The superior court further  

noted that "courts frequently consider character" and that "while the Council may be  

          26        13 AAC 85.900(7).  

          27       The Council also concluded that mandatory revocation was appropriate  

because Parcell was:  

                   discharged from employment as a police officer "for conduct  


                   that  would  cause  a  reasonable  person  to  have  substantial  

                   doubt  about  an  individual's  honesty,  fairness,  and  respect  

                   forth [sic] rights of others and for the laws of this state and  

                   the United States or that is detrimental to the integrity of the  


                   police department where the police officer worked . . . ."  

The superior court held that the Council waived mandatory revocation and that our  

decision in PSEA 2010 , affirming the arbitrator's decision that Parcell not be discharged  


for  cause,  precludes  revocation  under  13  AAC  85.110(b)(3).    Parcell  briefed  this  

decision, but the Council limited its appeal to discretionary revocation.  We therefore do  


not address the court's decision on mandatory revocation under 13 AAC 85.110(b)(3).  



                                                            -11-                                                      6999

----------------------- Page 12-----------------------

experienced in determining good moral character, that determination does not inherently  


call for the Council's expertise."  Substituting its judgment for the Council's, the court  


concluded that "[t]he term 'lacking in moral character' should then generally refer to  


flaws in one's character that are engrained, lasting or causing consistent behavioral or  


decision making problems."  


                      Substitution of judgment is not the proper standard of review in this case.  


The Council correctly argues that the revocation decision based on the determination that  


Parcell  lacked  good  moral  character  was  a  policy  determination  involving  agency  

expertise, properly reviewed for a rational or reasonable basis.  "The rational basis test  


may be appropriate even when interpreting commonly used words, if there are technical  


and policy reasons to defer to the administrative agency, and especially if the legislature  

has granted the agency broad discretion."28  

                      The legislature created the Council to "establish minimum standards for  

employment as a police officer."29  And the legislature gave the Council discretion when  



making  revocation  decisions.                          We  therefore  defer  to  the  Council's  reasonable  

interpretation and application of its regulations.  

           B.	        The Council Reasonably Determined That Parcell Was Not Of Good  


                      Moral Character.  

                      Relying on the facts that Parcell was "a person who engaged in behavior  


'totally contrary to his professional responsibility,' 'sexually offensive,' and 'as far over  

the line as one could imagine' " and that Parcell was " 'evasive, misleading and not  


           28         W.  States Fire Protection Co. v. Municipality of Anchorage                                   , 146 P.3d 986,   

989 (Alaska 2006).  

           29         AS 18.65.220.  

           30         See AS 18.65.240(c) ("The council may deny or revoke the certificate of  

a police officer who does not meet the standards adopted under (a)(2) of this section.").  


                                                                   -12-	                                                            6999

----------------------- Page 13-----------------------


forthcoming' in the investigatory process" the Council determined that Parcell was not  

of good moral character.31  


                     Parcell argues that "there must be a pattern of behavior to show the lack of  


good moral character and not one isolated incident."  In support of his argument Parcell  



cites cases from  other  jurisdictions,                     but he  fails to  point to  any  precedent or  clear  


statement establishing that this is the law in Alaska.  We are not persuaded that a single  


transgression  or  incident  of  misconduct,  no  matter  how  egregious,  never  will  be  


sufficient to support a reasonable determination that a police officer is not of good moral  


character.  And  in  this case the Council relied on two separate incidents, as well as  

Parcell's evasive behavior during the subsequent investigation.  


                     Parcell  echoes  the  superior  court's  notation  of  "the  Council's  apparent  

failure to consider 'all aspects' of Parcell's character as permitted by the definition of  

good moral character under 13 AAC 85.900(7)."    In order to show his good moral  

character  Parcell  submitted  evidence  to  the  Council  that  he  had  completed  alcohol  


treatment and maintained his sobriety, was actively involved in his community, and that  


he received his local rabbi's support.  The Council's decision did not explicitly mention  

          31         The Council also determined that Parcell's evasive behavior during the   

Department's investigation would be subject to a mandatory Brady disclosure and that  

this would limit Parcell's ability to effectively perform his duties as a police officer.  See  


Brady v. Maryland , 373  U.S. 83, 86-88 (1963) (requiring disclosure of exculpatory  


information); see also Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 154 (1972) ("When the  

reliability  of  a  given  witness  may  well  be  determinative  of  guilt  or  innocence,  


nondisclosure of evidence affecting credibility falls within [the] general [Brady] rule."  


(quoting  Nupue  v.  Illinois ,  360  U.S.  264,  269  (1959))  (internal  quotation  marks  

omitted)).    We  do  not  address  the  Brady  issue  because  it  is  not  necessary  for  our  

resolution of this case.  

          32         See,  e.g.,  Albert  v.  Fla.  Dep't  of  Law  Enforcement,  Criminal  Justice  


Standards & Training Comm'n, 573 So.2d 187 (Fla. Dist. App. 1991); Cuff v. Dep't of  

Pub. Safety Standards & Training , 198 P.3d 931 (Or. 2008).  

                                                               -13-                                                          6999

----------------------- Page 14-----------------------


this evidence of Parcell's character, but that does not mean the Council did not consider  



it     -  the  Council  had  no  obligation  to  list  all  aspects  of  Parcell's  character  in  its  

decision.  Even if the Council's decision could have said more, our review is limited to  

determining whether the Council's decision was reasonable.  

                        Parcell finally argues that in his employment case the arbitrator and this  


court "did not conclude th[at] Parcell was dishonest" and that we have previously held  

that Alaska "does not have [an] explicit, well-defined and dominant public policy that  


requires police officers to be completely honest."                                             Parcell correctly notes that in his  


employment case the arbitrator concluded that Parcell's "conduct fell short of lying," but  


the arbitrator's findings that Parcell admitted lying on one occasion and that Parcell was  

evasive during the subsequent investigation support the Council's conclusion that Parcell  


was dishonest.   And the fact that there is no legal requirement to terminate a police  


officer's employment for minor acts of dishonesty does not limit the Council's discretion  

to revoke that officer's certification.  

                        The stipulated facts establish that Parcell's harassing conduct was beyond  


offensive and inappropriate and that Parcell then was evasive during the Department's  


review.  The Council concluded, based on these specific facts, that Parcell did not have  


the moral character required of a police officer in Alaska.  There is no evidence in the  


record that the Council considered inappropriate facts or failed to consider relevant facts.  

            33          See  13  AAC  85.900(7)  ("[A]  determination  of  lack  of  'good  moral  

character' may be based upon a consideration of all aspects of a person's character.").  

            34          See State v. Pub. Safety Emps. Ass'n (PSEA 2011), 257                                                     P.3d 151, 161  

(Alaska 2011) ("While Alaska's laws are  explicit  in favoring an honest police force, they   

are not explicit in requiring a policy of absolute zero tolerance toward any dishonest by       

law enforcement officials, no matter how minor." (Emphasis in original.)).  

                                                                          -14-                                                                     6999

----------------------- Page 15-----------------------

                   In  PSEA  2010 ,  when  ultimately  affirming  the  arbitrator's  decision  to  


reverse Parcell's termination, we expressly noted that "[i]f we were reviewing this case  


in  the  first  instance,  or  under  a  less  deferential  standard,  we  likely  would  not  have  

                                   35  The Council was reviewing the case in the first instance and  

reached this conclusion."                                                                               

came to a different conclusion than the arbitrator in the employment case, and here we  


again review the decision under a deferential standard of review.  We conclude that the  


Council's revocation decision was reasonable.  


                   The  judgment  of  the  superior  court  is  REVERSED  and  the  Council's  

revocation of Parcell's police certificate is AFFIRMED.  

         35        235 P.3d 197, 202 (Alaska 2010).  

                                                         -15-                                                       6999  

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