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City to Appeal Ban on Drug Screening

September 17, 1987

The Glendale City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to appeal a ruling by a Superior Court judge ordering an immediate halt to the city's drug-abuse screening program.

If the appellate court agrees to hear the case, it will mark the first time a drug-testing issue has been heard by a higher court in California.

"We're not going to sit around and twiddle our thumbs on this," Mayor Ginger Bremberg said. "We're terribly afraid that someone, a drug abuser or a substance abuser, might come in and we'd be forced to hire them and endanger our community. We've got 160,000 people to protect."

At issue in the appeal is not only the validity of Glendale's drug-testing program, but Superior Court Judge Jerome K. Field's authority to reverse an earlier Superior Court decision upholding Glendale's law, city officials said.

"We just don't understand how one superior court can toss out another superior court's decision," Bremberg said. "In the judicial system, you appeal vertically, not horizontally."

City officials said they stopped mandatory testing of new employees and people seeking promotion after a Superior Court decision Sept. 8 ordered a halt to the tests.

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