DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Former Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald broke his silence about being fired in May and his fight to win back his job.
“I gave blood, sweat and tears for that job. So I’m fighting for the folks here,” Fitzgerald said.
Standing with his supporters outside a Dallas County courtroom, Fitzgerald spoke about the ordeal that has taken a toll on him and his family. “It’s a very tough time for us all. Tough times don’t last. Tough guys do.”
Fitzgerald claims he lost his job because he was uncovering corruption in the city.
But the city has said he lacked good judgment.
His comments Tuesday came after he and his attorney Stephen Kennedy lost a procedural battle in the courtroom.
Judge Gena Slaughter ruled Fitzgerald must change his lawsuit he filed against the city, so that it also includes the name of an official, such as City Manager David Cooke.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price attended the hearing, but didn’t comment.
One of the city’s attorneys, Carolyn McFatridge, spoke after the hearing. “We look forward to the plaintiff naming the appropriate party and get these issues resolved promptly.”
Kennedy said they’ll ultimately return to court in mid-November, when the Judge will hold a hearing to determine whether to void the city’s termination of Fitzgerald, reinstate him, and have the city council hold a public hearing about Fitzgerald’s status, before making a decision.
“Why not have a public hearing? What are they afraid of? If what Dr. Fitzgerald did was so terribly wrong why are they afraid to have this public hearing? Why do we have to go to court to ask for it?”
Fitzgerald called Tuesday’s proceeding a legal “hiccup” but said he’s not backing down. “I will continue to fight this fight until the judge makes a decision when the judge makes a decision I will live with the judge’s decision.”