• December 28, 2014

Fired police officer sues city

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 4:30 am

A recently fired 13-year veteran of the Harker Heights Police Department sued the city of Harker Heights on Wednesday.

Former patrol Sgt. Lorraine Beard alleges in her lawsuit that the city broke Texas government codes when it terminated her on April 9.

“(The code) requires that some process is due and that process was not followed in this case,” Beard’s attorney John Cullar said.

The lawsuit asks for Beard to be reinstated and given back-pay for her salary since she was fired.

The city fired Beard for allegedly retaliating against a subordinate officer. Beard supervised HHPD’s evening patrol shift, Cullar said.

The lawsuit makes no mention of the reason for Beard’s termination, nor does it contest the city’s cause for firing her.

However, it states Beard was never provided any complaint or disciplinary document prior to her firing. Texas law states all government employees must be provided complaints in writing.

The codes also state a complaint must be investigated and found truthful if the city intends to use it to terminate an employee.

Harker Heights City Manager Steve Carpenter said he could not comment on the circumstances of Beard’s termination because of the pending legal action.

“At this point, I guess she has the right to sue if she wants, but we think we made the right decision,” Carpenter said.

Beard was not entitled to any review board following her termination because Harker Heights police officers are not civil service employees.

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