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Judge blocks Phoenix police paid union work

PHOENIX -- A judge has blocked Phoenix from paying police officers for union work they have been doing while on duty.

The Goldwater Institute sued the city and police union to block the use of "release time" that is allowed under terms of their contract. The conservative group argued that violated the state Constitution's ban on gifts of public money.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper agreed and granted an injunction blocking the practice on Tuesday. She wrote that the contract between the city and the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association allowed some officers to do union work while receiving full pay and benefits and paid for a lobbyist.

Cooper blocked the same provision in the previous contract last year.

The injunction blocks the practice until a full trial can be held.

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