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Judge blocks Fort Worth from replacing fired police chief

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In this Jan. 9, 2017 file photo, Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald speaks at a press conference in Fort Worth, Texas. A Texas judge has temporarily blocked the city of Fort Worth from hiring a replacement for its fired police chief. A state district judge issued a restraining order Friday, July 19, 2019, that bars the city from hiring a new chief for 14 days as Joel Fitzgerald contests his May firing. (Rodger Mallison/Star-Telegram via AP, File)


FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge has temporarily blocked the city of Fort Worth from hiring a replacement for its fired police chief.

A state district judge issued a restraining order Friday that bars the city from hiring a permeant chief for 14 days as Joel Fitzgerald contests his May firing.

Fitzgerald’s lawyer argues his termination violated the city charter and that a new hire should be delayed as his client makes his case for reinstatement.

Fort Worth will be able to object to a further delay of hiring during a court hearing next month. A spokeswoman said the city plans to “vigorously defend” against Fitzgerald’s claims.

The city manager fired Fitzgerald after an incident in Washington, D.C., that he said was the latest to bring the chief’s “judgment and leadership” into question.

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