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Santa Fe files suit against police officer
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Police Chief Kenneth Campbell
Police Chief Kenneth Campbell
May 24, 2012

GALVESTON - The city of Santa Fe has filed suit against one of its police officers after an act of discipline against him was reversed, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit targeting Eric Bruss, filed May 14 in Galveston County District Court, argues that Pedro G. Molina Jr., a third-party hearing examiner, exceeded his jurisdiction when he overturned Santa Fe Police Chief Kenneth Campbell's disciplinary decision against Bruss.

Campbell placed Bruss on a three-day temporary suspension in October 2011 in response to his failure to follow the force's felony warrant policy in regards to pre-warrant briefing and preparation.

Bruss subsequently submitted a formal appeal which was heard and deliberated by Molina, who is not a party to the suit, in accordance to the Santa Fe Police Department's collective bargaining agreement.

The parties and the hearing examiner met to discuss Bruss's suspension last March 7 with the matter closed the same day.

According to the city, Bruss "raised no procedural objection at the commencement of the hearing nor any time prior to his closing brief."

Molina delivered his findings at the end of last month, ruling the city violated an article of the collective bargaining agreement when it temporarily suspended Bruss by not providing him a copy of a witness complaint before meting out punishment.

The city contends that "there is no such requirement under state law or the bargaining agreement and there is certainly no requirement commanding such a drastic result in the event it occurred."

"The hearing examiner herein exceeded his jurisdiction by rendering a decision based upon an inapplicable CBA provision and by ordering an unauthorized default reversal of a legal disciplinary action," the suit says.

"A hearing examiner exceeds this jurisdiction, and acts unlawfully, when issuing a decision that is not authorized by law or is contrary to it."

Consequently, the City of Santa Fe requests that Molina's ruling be reversed.

Attorney Brian J. Begle of Houston is representing the city.

Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.



Comments:
WOW!!! Done by the book and the book got thrown at the city/PD. So now the city?? wants it done again?? What is up with that? I feel the city is far over reaching in this case, if any one had an issue it should of been the chief NOT the city!! You would think that the city would have better things to do with their time. So does the city/manger have something against the PD? it looks like it does, the city and or manager did not do a very good job representing the new PD building and now this!! They were asking to raise taxes a couple months ago because the city was broke/did not have money!! where is the money for this coming from on a matter that has already been taken care of?? This place is looking far more like LaMarqye and BV these days and I for one do not like it. The GDNews is letting people post on there and they are stating that Bruss was or is going to get fired and not a word from the PD or city. This matter was closed by law and it will turn out the same way again and this will be and is a terrible waste of money. Officers these days have to put up with a lot of stuff more than they need to, I for one could not do it these days I would not have the patience for this type of behavior and I do not tolerate stupidity very well. There is no support for the officers of SFPD from the city and they should support them every chance they get. I would hope that the manager is not doing this out of spite and if so hope that the manager gets the front door shown to him because the city does not need a person like this managing our affairs in this manner!! If I was an officer for a PD I sure would not want to or be employed by Santa Fe, to much of the small town attitude with the big city crime and small town people walking around with blinders on!!
Posted by Ken Cox at 5/28/2012 10:52:34 AM

Where is the city attorney at on this one and why is the city paying extra for an attorney from Houston!!??
Posted by Ken Cox at 5/28/2012 10:57:10 AM

I hate to burst your bubble on that other paper, where you all are saying this officer is fired or is going to be fired or what ever it is you are hoping for but,,, the worst case scenario here is he will get his 3 day suspense. Hoopidity Doooo!!!!. I guess none of you ever leave the house?? if you want to find out if he is still employed go outside on the streets and he would be the one with the K-9 sticker on his vehicle, but do not break the law when leaving said residents!!! On second thought it is probably best you all just stay in the house I do not trust some of your driving skills!!! If you drive like you make posts then a lot of people are in trouble!!! Why is it that the people that abide by the law and do not have any troubles with the PD think they do such a fine job? Then you have the people that have DWIs and constantly have run ins with the PD and think they are all evil doers!!?? I have a suggestion for you out there that do, DON'T then they will never have a reason to pull you over!! Ever think of that!??
Posted by Ken Cox at 5/29/2012 5:42:35 AM

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