Fort Worth

Former Fort Worth Chief Takes Temporary Job in Philadelphia

Joel Fitzgerald 111919
NBC 5 News

Former Fort Worth police Chief Joel Fitzgerald has a new temporary job. 

The embattled former chief has taken a temporary senior deputy position at the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office, according to his attorney, Stephen Kennedy. 

Fitzgerald was let go from the Fort Worth Police Department in May 2019.

He has claimed his firing was an act of retaliation and came after he began investigating and communicating with the FBI concerning the city's compliance issues with the Criminal Justice Information Services system, a network designed to share law enforcement information nationwide.

The city has pointed to a series of missteps, including an alleged dispute between Fitzgerald and the president of the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, which culminated in a confrontation at a Washington event honoring fallen officers days before he was fired. 

Kennedy said Fitzgerald, who will keep his primary residence in Fort Worth, started the job Monday, the same day Sheriff Rochelle Bilal was sworn in.

Bilal is the first elected black female sheriff in the 181-year history of the sheriff’s office, according to the office’s website 

He said Bilal had asked Fitzgerald to be part of her transition committee on a volunteer basis when she was first elected, and offered him the new position. 

“He’s been rejected from over 150 other job applications that he’s applied for,” Kennedy said. “This woman knows him, knows he has integrity, knows all this baloney the city has thrown at him is false … .” 

Fitzgerald has continued to seek reinstatement in the Fort Worth Police Department. The chief position has since been filled by Ed Kraus, who acted as interim chief after Fitzgerald’s firing.

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