A D.C. Superior Court judge refused yesterday to grant a temporary restraining order that would have barred the city from laying off more than 200 employes of the D.C. Department of Corrections.
Judge Peter H. Wolf ruled that he was not convinced that 12 Lorton Correctional Complex employes, who are members of Local 1550 of the American Federation of Government Employees, would suffer irreparable harm if the motion they sought were granted.
Attorney Steuart A. Kirsch, representing the union, argued that Mayor Marion Barry is required by law to provide all employes a "safe and healthful work enviroment."
Kirsch argued that a reduction in force would endanger the lives of correctional officers and staff at the facility.
Assistant Corporation Counsel Leonard B. Bren, told the judge that the plaintiffs had not proved they would suffer irreparable injury.
Judge Wolf is scheduled to hear a motion for a preliminary injunction on May 16.
U.S. District Judge June L. Green issued an order last week restraining the city from dismissing 14 correctional officers in the maximum security section of the complex. A group of inmates in maximum security sought that ruling.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of appeals granted a stay of Judge Green's order, leaving the city free to carry out a proposal to dismiss about 225 correctional employes during the months of May and June.
Barry has said the correctional staff reductions are necessary to help head off a $175 million deficit in the city budget this fiscal year.
In a related development, Mayor Barry assured Fairfax County officials yesterday that full security would be maintained at Lorton to protect residents of the surrounding community.
"I have not proposed any reductions in perimeter security personnel," Barry said in a letter to John B. Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. "Whatever reductions in Lorton security officers takes place will affect only internal security posts. . . ."