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‘No Evidence' Former Fort Worth Police Chief Committed Misconduct in the Workplace: Texas Workforce Commission

Joel Fitzgerald was fired May 20

Former Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald did not commit misconduct in the workplace prior to his firing, the Texas Workforce Commission says.

The state agency wrote in a document dated July 11 that it found no evidence Fitzgerald, who was fired May 20, was guilty of work-connected misconduct.

Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke fired Fitzgerald in late May, telling NBC 5 in a statement it was "in the best interest of the community" after he examined the "totality" of the situation.

The "situation," Cooke confirmed in a formal statement, included incidents at National Police Week events in Washington D.C. as well as fallout from December when city leaders were surprised to learn Fitzgerald was named the next police commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department. Fitzgerald withdrew his candidacy in January, however, saying he was focused on his son who needed a second brain surgery.

The day after Fitzgerald's termination, his attorney, Stephen Kennedy, said the firing was retaliation for Fitzgerald's blowing the whistle on cybersecurity problems in the Fort Worth's IT department.

Kennedy announced plans to sue the city on June 7.

Fitzgerald has maintained his dismissal was improper, and he is seeking pay plus benefits.

The city of Fort Worth did not respond to a request for comment Monday night.

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