DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Work Force Commission announced its decision Monday that “[t]here was no evidence” that former Fort Worth Police Chief Joel F. Fitzgerald “was guilty of work connected misconduct” when City Manager David Cooke terminated him on May 20.

The city of Fort Worth refused to pay Fitzgerald benefits, saying he was fired for misconduct.

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Fitzgerald filed a whistleblower lawsuit over his firing.

Former Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald with his lawyer and family. (credit: CBS 11 News)

The suit alleges the main reason for Fitzgerald’s firing was his intent to meet with FBI investigators over possible access violations to the Criminal Justice Information System.

The TWC had ruled in favor of the City on June 13 but Fitzgerald appealed.

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An appellate hearing concluded on July 11 and reversed the June 13 decision.

The Appeal Tribunal determined Fitzgerald had not engaged in conduct that justified the city’s claim that Fitzgerald engaged in misconduct.

The city had claimed Fitzgerald acted inappropriately at the Top Cop banquet in D.C. in May, 2019, and that his conduct justified termination for cause.

The TWC disagreed and found no evidence of any wrongdoing at the event.


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