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Former chief is awarded $400k re his wrongful termination claim

There are many appropriate reasons that an employee may be let go, but retaliation for reporting improper conduct is not one of them. In some instances, when higher ranking employees feel threatened, they may decide to fire a worker in order to protect themselves and get rid of an employee who is causing them problems. Some Texas workers may accept a wrongful termination and not fight back, while others seek justice and the restoration of their reputation.

A former police chief in another state filed a claim against a city after he was fired for-- what he believed to be-- no good reason. The man apparently joined the police department in 1997 and continued up through the ranks until he became chief in 2005. The community is said had a negative opinion of the department, so he tried his best to try to address those issues. To do so, he started to work with a new interim city manager in 2012.

Everything changed after the former city chief claims he was literally attacked at a city council meeting while the matters he wanted to change were being discussed. He alleges the city manager threatened him physically with fists and aggressively moved toward him. The plaintiff later filed a complaint, reporting that he felt threatened by the incident. The relationship between the two apparently worsened after the plaintiff reported that city manager was operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license from a different state.

After the incidents, the plaintiff was fired and, initially,  not given a reason for being terminated. He was later told that he was no longer supported by the city council and management and his leadership abilities were found lacking. However, a federal jury had a different opinion, and the plaintiff won his wrongful termination lawsuit and was awarded $400,000. The plaintiff says that, by winning this case, his reputation has been restored. Workers in Texas who believe that they were fired due to no fault of their own may elect to file claims against their employers in an attempt to be awarded financial relief and/or possibly be reinstated by a civil court.

Source:, "Former McCall police chief wins wrongful termination suit", Karen Zatkulak, April 14, 2015

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