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DISTRICT COURT OVERTURNS HEARING EXAMINER’S DECISION.
On Friday May 6, the 118th Judicial District Court in Howard County overturned a Hearing Examiner’s decision reinstating a Big Spring Fire Department employee. The City’s appeal was based, in part, on the Hearing Examiner’s reliance on an arbitration treatise’s definition of “progressive discipline.” Instead of applying the City’s own progressive discipline policy, which had been introduced into the record during the hearing, the Hearing Examiner erroneously chose to apply the progressive discipline standard slelled out in the arbitration book. The District Court agreed with the City’s argument that the Hearing Examiner exceeded his jurisdiction. (City of Big Spring v. Butler).
On May 7, Eagle Pass voters rejected collective bargaining sought by the City’s police officers and firefighters. By a 200+ vote margin, citizens defeated the proposition. The final tally was 970 votes against bargaining and 768 favoring it.