TCAA, in conjunction with the Texas Municipal League, files amicus briefs and comments in support of cities on many issues. To keep up to date on the status of these issues, go to http://www.tml.org/p/AmicusBriefUpdate_121615.pdf.
Civil Service: City of Georgetown v. Brown, No. 15-0855 in the Supreme Court of Texas. TML and TCAA filed an amicus brief in support of the City of Georgetown. In this case, a civil service officer had been recently terminated for disciplinary reasons, but had been reinstated by a civil service hearing examiner after the officer used the civil service appeal process. While waiting on the results of the officer’s civil service appeal, the district attorney for the county had informed the city’s police chief that the district attorney’s office would no longer be accepting testimony from the officer based on the disciplinary reasons for the first termination. After the officer was reinstated by the hearing officer and after the district attorney’s statement of a lack of confidence in the officer’s ability to testify, the police chief again terminated the officer. The officer was not allowed to use the civil service appeal process because the city argued that the second termination was not for disciplinary reasons, but for not being able to perform an essential function of her job, testifying in county or district court. The court of appeals held that the termination was for disciplinary reasons requiring use of the civil service appeal process, and the city appealed. TML and TCAA’s brief argued that the termination for not being able to testify was non-disciplinary and not subject to the civil service appeal process. Being able to testify in front of the county is an essential function of any peace officer’s job and a third party examiner should not be able to reinstate an officer when a termination is based on the inability to perform an essential job function. The brief was filed on December 14, 2015.