Civil Service Commissions—Election to Appeal to Hearing Examiner

Civil Service Commissions—Election to Appeal to Hearing Examiner—In re City of Beaumont, 2017 WL 5179785 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2017) (not for publication)—A suspended firefighter or police officer can choose between appealing to the local civil service commission or to an independent third-party hearing examiner. Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code §§ 143.053, 143.057(a). In this case, the firefighter initially elected to take his case before a hearing examiner and he prevailed in that proceeding, but the court of appeals overturned the hearing examiner’s decision. The parties then took the case to a second hearing examiner who ruled against the firefighter. The firefighter sought judicial review of the second hearing examiner decision, arguing that the city’s original notice of right to appeal was defective in failing to properly describe the right to choose between a hearing examiner and the civil service commission, and that he was entitled to change his election. The court held that the firefighter had waived any right he might have had to change his election when he took his appeal before a second hearing examiner and made no effort to change his election prior to the second hearing.

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