FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Former Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald has taken a job in Philadelphia as he waits for a trial to get his chief job back.
Fitzgerald filed a civil suit against the city of Fort Worth last year after he was fired in May. He believes he was wrongfully terminated and that the firing ruined his reputation and his ability to get another job.
The former chief made headlines in 2018 after he was in the running for the same position in Baltimore but, ultimately, did not get it. Later in 2019, his judgment and leadership were questioned after an alleged incident during the Top Cop Awards in Washington D.C. between Fitzgerald and the president of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT).
About a week after the alleged incident in Washington, Fitzgerald was fired. He soon filed the lawsuit against the city.
Fitzgerald has said he wanted an apology from the city, the truth over his firing and his job back. He also sought to convince a judge to not allow Fort Worth to hire another police chief until the lawsuit was resolved.
During a hearing in November, a Dallas judge said she was concerned about the conduct of city officials leading to his firing but ruled the city could hire another police chief in the meantime, which led to Ed Kraus moving from interim to a permanent spot.
As Fitzgerald waits for the trial to begin, he has taken a senior deputy sheriff position in his hometown of Philadelphia, according to his attorney.
His attorney claims Fitzgerald was unable to get a job after over 150 applications due to his termination from Fort Worth. He believes Fitzgerald could still be reinstated if a jury finds it necessary.