Fort Worth

Judge denies city request for more time producing documents in fired police chief case

Lawyer stops the city from hiring a new Fort Worth police chief

The lawyer for fired Fort Worth TX police chief Joel Fitzgerald persuades judge to stop city from hiring a new permanent chief, arguing it would violate city charter and thwart a remedy if his whistleblower lawsuit succeeds.
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The lawyer for fired Fort Worth TX police chief Joel Fitzgerald persuades judge to stop city from hiring a new permanent chief, arguing it would violate city charter and thwart a remedy if his whistleblower lawsuit succeeds.

A judge denied Fort Worth officials’ request for more time to prepare certain records before the attorney for fired Fort Worth police chief Joel Fitzgerald questions city employees.

The city had asked Associate Judge Monica Purdy and District Court Judge Gena Slaughter for more time producing documents before attorney Stephen Kennedy questions Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke, Assistant City Manager Jay Chapa and Manny Ramirez, president of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association.

Fitzgerald is seeking reinstatement to his former position and claims his firing was in retaliation for conducting an investigation into city corruption.

In an emergency appeal to the judge, the city said it would not have time to gather all the documents needed before the deposition. On Friday, Slaughter denied the city’s appeal and ordered the deposition take place within 10 days.

On Tuesday, a press release from the city said officials will be appealing the order, calling it an “unprecedented fishing expedition.”

“The City disagrees with the allegations as set forth by Mr. Fitzgerald, is fully prepared to defend itself against this lawsuit, and stands behind the decision to terminate Mr. Fitzgerald’s employment. The City continues to maintain that it acted appropriately and within the bounds of the law,” a press release said.

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