Texas city to appeal reinstatement of firefighter fired more than 10 years ago
The lengthy, ongoing legal battle stems from a dropped aggravated assault charge in 2008
By Laura French
BEAUMONT, Texas — A Texas city says it will appeal a judge’s decision to reinstate a firefighter for the second time in more than 10 years.
Beaumont Firefighter James Mathews, who is currently in a state of indefinite suspension, was fired in 2008 after an off-duty incident where he allegedly tried to detain a man he suspected of drunk driving, according to 12 News. Mathews was charged with aggravated assault, but the charges were later dropped.
An independent hearing examiner ruled in 2010 that Mathews should be reinstated but, in 2012, a second examiner ruled against Mathews, leading him to be suspended as the legal battle continued, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.
Last week, a district court judge reversed the 2012 decision, once again reinstating the firefighter and ordering that he be paid back for the time he was suspended.
In his judgment, Jefferson County District Court Judge Justin Sanderson wrote that the second examiner’s decision was “procured by fraud, collusion and other wrongful acts.”
The city said it will be appealing Sanderson’s decision, putting Mathews’ reinstatement on hold as the court battle resumes.
A judge orders the city of Beaumont to reinstate a firefighter fired 12 years ago and also to reimburse him for back pay and benefits. James Mathews has been fighting for his job since he was let go.
A judge orders the city of Beaumont to reinstate a firefighter fired 12 years ago and to also reimburse him for back pay and benefits. James Mathews has been fighting for his job since he was let go. KFDM's Angel San Juan spoke to Mathews in an exclusive interview shortly after the judge's ruling.Posted by KFDM News on Thursday, January 30, 2020