Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE FIGHTERS, LOCAL UNION NO. 42, Appellant,
JACKSON COUNTY, MISSOURI, Respondent.
from the Circuit Court of Jackson County The Honorable
Stephen K. Willcox, Judge
Alok Ahuja, P.J., and James E. Welsh and Edward R. Ardini,
Krantz served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the
Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office from 1984
until his employment was terminated in August 2011. Krantz
was a member of Local 42 of the International Association of
Fire Fighters, and his employment was governed by a
collective bargaining agreement. Krantz's union
representatives filed a grievance challenging his
termination. Following an evidentiary hearing, an arbitrator
vacated Krantz's discharge, and ordered that he receive a
written reprimand instead.
Jackson County Prosecutor and Jackson County Executive
exercised their joint authority under the collective
bargaining agreement to review the arbitrator's decision.
They issued a joint decision modifying the arbitration award,
and reinstating Krantz's discharge. Local 42 filed suit
in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, contending that the
County's modification of the arbitration award breached
the collective bargaining agreement. The circuit court
granted summary judgment to the County, upholding
management's decision to terminate Krantz's
42 appeals. We affirm.
served as an assistant prosecutor in the Prosecuting
Attorney's Office from 1984 until his termination in
August 2011. At the time of his discharge, Krantz was a
senior trial attorney. He was terminated by Jean Peters
Baker, who was appointed Prosecuting Attorney in May 2011.
termination arose out of his conduct as lead trial counsel in
State of Missouri v. Mauricio Lopez, No.
0916-CR0111-03, filed in the Circuit Court of Jackson County.
The Lopez case was assigned to Judge Jack R. Grate.
The defendant in Lopez was charged with
second-degree murder and armed criminal action. The case was
originally filed in March 2009, but was dismissed and
re-filed by Krantz on September 13, 2010, the day the case
was set for trial.
and defense counsel in the Lopez case (Pat Peters)
had ongoing disputes concerning the adequacy of the
State's disclosure of information in discovery. On
December 9, 2010, Judge Grate entered a "Discovery
Order" directing the State to provide all discovery
requested by the defense within 20 days. Krantz responded on
December 29 by providing a packet of material which he
asserted complied with the Discovery Order. Peters disagreed
that the State had discharged its obligations under the
December 9 order and the discovery rules.
March 24, 2011, with the case set for trial on August 8,
2011, Judge Grate entered a further order in an attempt to
resolve the pending discovery disputes. The March 24, 2011
order provided that defense counsel
shall provide the State with a comprehensive list of all
discovery that Defendant alleges it has not been provided.
The State shall respond to that list and identify which of
the documents have in fact been provided, when, and with
enough information to identify the document. This will narrow
the issues for the Court to take up.
circuit court's March 24 order was unusual: Krantz
testified at the arbitration hearing that he had never
previously been involved in a case in which the court ordered
a defendant to provide a detailed list of requested discovery
materials, and gave the prosecution a date certain by which
31, 2011, defense counsel Peters sent Krantz a ten-page
letter which included a detailed list of the items to which
the defense claimed they were entitled, but which had not yet
been disclosed by the State (the "Discovery
discovery hearing was scheduled on June 3, 2011. That
morning, Krantz's "second chair" in
Lopez, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Devin Ledom,
filed an application for continuance of the hearing. The sole
basis for a continuance stated in the application was that
"[t]he State received the letter from defense counsel
detailing the discovery deficiencies alleged on May 31st, and
the State has not had ample time to analyze the list and
prepare a response." The continuance application was
signed by Ledom on Krantz's behalf. Ledom later explained
that the decision to file the application for continuance, in
response to the Discovery Letter, was made solely by Krantz,
and that Ledom "did not have any personal knowledge of
the letter or list referred to in . . . the Application and
included this information at the direction of Bryan
Krantz." Ledom also stated that he "would not have
included any information about the May 31st letter [in the
application] had I had [sic] not been directed by
Bryan Krantz to do so." Krantz acknowledged at the
arbitration hearing that he had directed Ledom to file the
response to the State's continuance motion, the court
reset the discovery hearing for July 19, 2011, less than
three weeks before the August 8 trial date. Krantz testified
at the arbitration proceeding that, when he arrived at the
July 19 hearing, he believed that the hearing was intended to
address only Lopez's unrelated traffic tickets, and
potentially for the taking of a guilty plea in the murder
case. Krantz testified that he understood that, if no guilty
plea was made and accepted at the July 19 hearing, the
pending discovery issues would be set for hearing at a later
date. Krantz acknowledged that he was unprepared to address
the suppression and discovery issues which the circuit court
actually addressed at the July 19 hearing.
the parties entered their appearances, Judge Grate began the
July 19 hearing by explaining that,
What we have pending today is everything. In case anybody was
unclear about that we had everything that was pending set on
March 24th, if not earlier, and on that date it was continued
to May 12th, and on that date it was continued to June 3rd,
and on that date it was continued to 7/19. It is clear to me
from the tenor of these orders that what is set is everything
and because we have got our trial date.
court then recounted the case's procedural history in
detail, highlighting the pending motions. At the conclusion
of this recitation, Judge Grate asked the parties:
"[n]ow, if somebody has got a different idea about what
all is pending, speak up. I went through the file with some
care." Krantz said nothing. He did not take issue with
the court's description of the scope of the hearing, or
indicate that he was unprepared to proceed.
circuit court reviewed the status of discovery, a lengthy
colloquy occurred concerning the Discovery Letter, and
whether Krantz had seen and responded to it. Because
Krantz's statements during this exchange became a primary
basis for his discharge, we quote from the July 19, 2011
transcript at length:
The Court: Have you given the state a comprehensive list what
you thought were the shortcomings in their discovery?
Mr. Peters: Yes. We had talked previously that I had filed a
pleading back in February that detailed things, and it falls
into two categories. Things that the state listed as exhibits
they intended to introduce which I have not been provided,
and things that I had requested that I have not been provided
after we came to court. And the Court corrected me on going
with what I had done in February wasn't sufficient. I
sent a letter to Brian restating the items that we had talked
about and then mentioning the things that we've discussed
over and over having to do with documents in evidence such as
subpoenas, motions, orders for writs, letters, e-mails,
handwritten notes, etcetera.
The Court: Mr. Krantz, as far as that goes, did you then
Mr. Krantz: The last I recall we were in chambers and Mr.
Peters said he was dropping the motion. Do you have a
copy of the letter because I don't have it in my
The Court: He said he was going to drop it, and then we came
out in open court and he said he wasn't, after he
consulted with his client and his partner.
Mr. Krantz: I don't have a copy of this. Judge, I
don't have a copy of this. Let's cut to the
chase. Mr. Peters and I have an ongoing dispute about the
state's obligations in discovery. We follow the Supreme
The Court: But you followed my order.
Mr. Krantz: Pardon me?
The Court: I solved all of this and told you what to do.
Mr. Krantz: All right. Okay.
The Court: Don't you think? Here is what I told you to
do, respond to his list. Now I said that on March
24th, and if you never got a letter from him
giving you the list. Did you ever contact him and say, where
is your stupid list that I need to respond to?
Mr. Krantz: No sir, I did not.
Mr. Peters: Judge, it may be because we have multiple
attorneys. But in Mr. Ledom's - well, actually it's
Mr. Krantz's application for continuance from our last
hearing date, he states, "The state received the letter
from defense counsel detailing the discovery deficiencies
alleged on May 31st" - which is the date of my letter -
"and the state has not had ample time to analyze the
list and prepare a response."
The Court: What date is that?
Mr. Peters: I don't know what date it was filed. I
received it by fax on June 2nd of 2011.
The Court: I show it filed in on June 3rd, but I think
we're talking about the same thing. Mr. Krantz, that
kind of belies the idea that you didn't ...