AUSTIN, Texas- Today, the Texas 9th Court of Appeals concluded that Orange County violated its collective bargaining agreement by refusing to arbitrate the terminations of 13 Orange County deputies by then Sheriff-Elect Jimmy Mooney in 2020.
On June 10, 2020, each of the 13 deputies received letters from then Sheriff-Elect Mooney, stating they were not the “best fit” for his administration and further noted that all other available positions were already filled. Sheriff-Elect Mooney then directed all thirteen deputies to surrender all Sheriff’s Office property on or before June 30, 2020, a day before Sheriff-Elect Mooney took office.
After the deputies filed grievances and requests for arbitration, Orange County filed suit seeking a ruling that the deputies had no right to an arbitration hearing on their terminations. The 9th Court of Appeals disagreed with the county and sent the case back to be heard in arbitration, in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.
“This is a case where literally the cart was placed before the horse. Sheriff Mooney could cite no reason for not wanting to appoint these men and women leaving me to believe his motive to be political. Collective bargaining agreements were put in place for this reason.” - TMPA Attorney Greg Cagle
“Situations like this happen far too often, and sadly after almost every election for a political office. The careers of the men and women of law enforcement should not hinge on the outcome of any election, regardless of their party affiliation or candidate choice. Our freedoms and liberties do not stop the day we take an oath.
I am proud that the 9th Court of Appeals made the right choice in the matter and look forward to the outcome of the arbitration process. This case highlights that we at TMPA have the very best attorneys in the nation, and we will continue to fight for the betterment of law enforcement.” - TMPA Executive Director Kevin Lawrence