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Robert
G.


Ramsey

ALJ
Hearing
May
12th
&
13th
2010



In
closing,
Ms.
Messer
stated
that
Appellant
did
not
appear
to

understand
department
rules
and
procedures;
that
Appellant

stammered
through
the
policies
while
testifying;
and
that
the

department
cannot
have
that
type
of
person
as
a
police
officer.

This

may
be
true.

Yet,
that
is
not
really
the
question
before
me
or
the
basis
of

Appellant’s
termination
of
employment.

Rather,
the
questions
to
be

addressed
deal
with
the
handling
of
citations
and
stops,
professional

conduct
and
excessive
force.


The
testimony
is
clear,

Appellant
mishandled
citations
and
stops.


I
also
believe
Appellant
was
not
completely
forthright
in
his
responses

concerning
the
details
of
the
stops
and
citations
in
question.

In
this

regard,
it
is
determined
that
a
preponderance
of
the
evidence

establishes
that
Appellant
violated:


 Dallas
Police
Department
(“DPD”)
code
of
Conduct
4.3;


 DPD
General
Order
313.04;


 DPD
Code
Conduct
3.2;


 DPD
General
Order
420.08;
and


 DPD
Code
Conduct
8.5.

Turning
to
the
charges
of
unacceptable
conduct
and
excessive

force,
the
finding
of
excessive
force
was
based
solely
on
the
statements

of
officer
Ortiz.

This
is
the
only
witness
the
city
presented
on
the
issue.


The
record
shows
that
Mr.
Ortiz
was
not
a
strong
witness,
his
demeanor

on
the
stand
and
failure
to
testify
unequivocally
as
to
the
excessive
force

charge,
frankly,
reflects
poorly
on
his
integrity
as
a
witness.

As
such,
it

is
determined
that
whether
Appellant
violated
Code
of
Conduct
Chapter

IV
Section
4.10

“Officers
shall
not
use
any
unnecessary
or
inappropriate

force
against
any
person”
has
not
been
established
by
a
preponderance

of
the
evidence.

However,
Appellant
admits
he
could
have,
and
should

have,
handled
the
March
2008
stop
better
and
should
have
not
gotten

into
a
shouting
match
with
the
citizen.

Additionally,
it
is
clear
they

should
not
have
released
the
citizen
under
the
circumstances
and
in
the

manner
they
did.

As
such,
it
is
determined
Appellant
violated
City
of

Dallas
Personnel
Riles
Section
34‐36
(b)(7)(G)
and
DPD
Code
of

Conduct
Chapter
1.3.

The
question
now
presented,
is
whether
the
discipline
imposed
is

appropriate.

Whether
a
reasonable
prudent
person
would
have

imposed
the
same
discipline.

Chief
Kunkle
testified
he
did
not
believe

Appellant’s
employment
would
have
been
terminated
but
for
the

excessive
force
charge.

That
in
his
opinion,
the
basis
of
the
termination

was
the
finding
of
excessive
force.

Deputy
Chief
Paulhill
testified,

however,
that
the
citations
and
misconduct
violations
were
sufficient
to

support
termination
based
on
the
facts
it
appeared
Appellant

understood
the
polices,
but
simply
choose
not
to
follow
them
and
he

showed
little,
if
any,
indication
he
was
willing
to
follow
DPD
procedures

or
that
he
did
anything
wrong.

Both
Chief
Kunkle
and
Deputy
Chief

Paulhill
are
extremely
credible
witnesses.


So
the
question
remains
what
discipline
would
a
reasonable

prudent
person
impose?

To
reach
such
a
determination,
insight
may
be

found
from
what
the
department
has
done
in
similar
cases,
such
as

Ortiz,
combined
with
evidence
of
Appellant’s
demeanor,
character
and

employment
history.

The
record
reflects
that
Appellant
is
a
relatively

young
officer
with
a
lot
of
activity
concerning
failure
to
follow
standard

operating
procedures
and
handling
of
citations
and
stops.

Additionally,

I
believe
there
are
some
questions
of
truthfulness
in
connection
with
the

details
of
the
incidents
in
question.

Also,
there
are
question

unanswered
as
to
whether
Appellant
understands
his
duties
and

responsibilities
as
a
Dallas
police
officer
or
is
simply
disregarding
DPD

rules
and
procedures.

Consequently,
taking
into
account
Chief
Kunkle’s
testimony
and

Deputy
Chief
Paulhill’s
concerns
along
with
my
findings,
I
so
order
that

Appellant
be
reinstated
under
the
following
conditions:

He
accepts
a
thirty
day
unpaid
suspension

He
attends
any
additionally
training
his
supervisors
deem

necessary
and

A


last
chance
warning
letter
be
given,
and
signed
by

Appellant,
that
he
will
be
subject
to
immediate
dismissal
if
it
is

determined
he
engages
in
similar
misconduct
such
as,

disregarding
DPD
code
of
conduct
and
or
general
rules
in

connection
with
completing
citations;
issues
of
truthfulness;

conduct
which
adversely
affect
the
department
or
the
public

respect
and
confidence
in
the
department;
safety
violations
which

endanger
ones
own
safety
or
that
of
others;
and/
or
a
finding
of

inappropriate
force.

Respectfully
Submitted,


Kimberly
N.
Lonergan