Los Angeles police union files suit over COVID-19 testing contract

Local news

The Los Angeles Police Protective League filed suit against the city of Los Angeles on Friday, restating its claims that the city’s COVID-19 testing contract with Bluestone was improperly awarded.

City employees who are not vaccinated must undergo twice-weekly testing through Bluestone, which is run by a parent company partially owned by a city commissioner and political donor, Pedram Salimpour.

The city claims $3 million contract was awarded on a no-bid basis due to its status as a public health-related measure and the work the company has done for the county, among other reasons, though the union claims Salimpour’s political influence helped secure the deal.

The city’s Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners, on which Salimpour serves, claimed in a statement that “was not engaged nor part of the review and vetting process concerning the COVID-19 testing contract.”

“The first part of that statement is untrue, and the second part is laughable,” the union said in a press release announcing the lawsuit.

“We know that Commissioner Salimpour was absolutely ‘engaged’ as he lobbied the Mayor’s office to promote Bluestone, more on that in the coming days. As for the declaration that the Commissioner was not part of the ‘review and vetting process,’ well, we certainly hope not. To have Commissioner Salimpour be part of the selection of his own firm would be illegal, although nothing coming out of City Hall these days should surprise any of us,” the union added.

The union’s lawsuit seeks to prevent the city from forcing unvaccinated employees to have their testing done through Bluestone, which will cost the employees $260 on each bi-weekly paycheck.

“The Los Angeles Police Protective League will be seeking a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the City from moving forward on their implementation procedures stemming from their vaccine mandate ordinance until they engage in good-faith bargaining and exhaust impasse procedures,” the union said in a statement.

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