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City Must Give Notice To Remove the Police Chief

On December 23, 2011, in Robinson v. City of Chowchilla (California Courts of Appeal – 5th District, No. F059608), the court held that in order for a public agency to remove a police chief without violating the Procedural Bill of Rights Act, it must give written notice of termination, an explanation of reasons for termination and the opportunity for an administrative appeal.

In Robinson, the police chief entered into an employment contract with the city. Six years later, the police chief had a conversation with a city administrator who indicated that the city council was considering not renewing his employment contract. Later that year, the police chief received notice that his employment contract was, in fact, not renewed. The police chief sued the city because "it failed to give him written notice, a statement of reasons for termination, or an opportunity for an administrative appeal before his removal." The court found for the police chief and held that the city had a duty under the Procedural Bill of Rights Act to allow opportunity for notice, explanation of termination and appeal.

If you or someone you know is employed as a public safety officer and are facing termination without notice, an explanation or administrative appeal please contact a Southern California employment lawyer today.

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