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Fired police chief claims in lawsuit retaliation for reporting wrongdoing

Blue Mound Purchases Their Public Water System

The city of Blue Mound now owns it's public water system after purchasing it from Monarch Utilities. Mayor Alan Hooks and public works director Dee Brewer talk about bringing their new system up to new standards. Star-Telegram
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The city of Blue Mound now owns it's public water system after purchasing it from Monarch Utilities. Mayor Alan Hooks and public works director Dee Brewer talk about bringing their new system up to new standards. Star-Telegram

A former police chief who was fired in July after he was accused of “flipping off” another employee is suing the city for wrongful termination.

Randy Baker, who worked in the small northwest Tarrant community of Blue Mound from April of 2017 until he was fired in July, alleged that he was terminated in retaliation for reporting misuse and misappropriation of funds to the Texas Rangers, the Texas Comptroller’s office and the Tarrant County District Attorney.

Baker said his firing violated the Texas Whistleblower Act.

Mayor Alan Hooks said Baker’s allegations are unfounded.

“I didn’t retaliate against anybody, but I’m not going to have somebody telling me what I can do,” he said.

The lawsuit was filed Aug. 28.

“The Defendant’s actions in terminating Plaintiff from his position as Chief of the City of Blue Mound Police Department constitutes a violation of the Texas Whistleblower Act, in that Plaintiff was a public employee who was fired by City, in retaliation for reporting his employers’ violations of law to appropriate law enforcement authorities,” according the Baker’s lawsuit.

According to court documents, the problems for Baker started when he filed complaints with authorities, including the Texas Rangers, alleging that Crime Control District funds were moved to Blue Mound’s general fund by former city secretary Kathryn Nour.

Crime district funds, which come from sales tax dollars, are used for specific purposes such as purchasing equipment for police departments.

Baker also accused the city of failing to hold crime district board meetings to set the annual budget.

Baker was told by the Texas Rangers that the city was “correcting” the error, according to the lawsuit.

Other allegations in the suit include Hooks telling police officers to write more citations or they would lose pay or face possible layoffs. Hooks also denied the accusations, saying he talked to officers about the city’s budget.

Another allegation described how Hooks allegedly hired someone receiving Social Security disability benefits to trim trees, but the checks for the work were sent to the man’s wife so that the payments weren’t reported to the government.

Baker talked to a prosecutor in the white-collar crimes division of the district attorney’s office, and the case is under investigation, according to the lawsuit.

Baker was placed on administrative leave in December and again in June.

He is seeking reinstatement to his job as police chief, back pay and damages between $2,000 up to $1 million.

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With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.
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