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The Termination of Trust
Postmarks  September 5, 2017

Acevedo Speaks About Freeman Termination
Police chief says officer violated APD policies in shooting teen
DAILY News  March 21, 2016, by Chase Hoffberger

The Termination is Proximity-based
illustration by Roy Tompkins
  May 9, 1997, by Stuart Wade

The Common Law
Wrongful termination
Columns  May 6, 2005, by Luke Ellis and Nathan Moss
"...Can you explain what a wrongful termination suit is? When it comes down to he said/she said between an employer and employee, who does the law favor in a wrongful termination suit?..."

The Company Men
Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kevin Costner star in this drama about what happens to company men after they part company with the company.
Film Review  February 4, 2011, by Kimberley Jones
"...The wan, uninvolving The Company Men bears the same hallmarks as Wells’ West Wing flameout: bombastic plot swerves and overscripted speeches, a fatal inclination toward sentimentality, and an inability to catch a rhythm – to not feel so damn ponderous. Yes, these former company men sigh a lot, occasionally raise their voices, get drunk and throw rocks at corporate HQ, but there’s nothing that feels like real rage, nothing that even remotely approximates the spiritual decimation of a termination...."

Officer Wins Firing Appeal
Arbitrator overturns chief's decision to dismiss
News Story  December 23, 2014, by Chase Hoffberger
"...On Oct. 2, Wil­liams learned of his indefinite suspension (i.e., in civil service terms, termination)...."

Austin Cop Involved in Fatal Shooting Retires While Investigation Ongoing
Criminal inquiry continues, but internal investigation closed
DAILY News  October 22, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert, who fatally shot Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr., this summer, has resigned his position with the APD amid an internal investigation into the shooting. Kleinert's move will secure his pension and foreclose the internal inquiry that could have led to his termination...."

Officer Fired for Prostitution
Second APD officer fired this week for criminal conduct and lying
DAILY News  May 31, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...On the heels of Wednesday's termination of an officer for lying about his off-duty work, Austin Police Department Chief Art Acevedo yesterday fired a second officer, Manuel Garcia, in connection with his February arrest by APD for prostitution...."

Schroeder v. APD
Latest police shooting case raises retro question: Why not Glasgow?
News Story  June 2, 2006, by Jordan Smith
"...grand jury declined to indict Schroeder, and Internal Affairs investigators concluded that the officer's use of force fell within the limits of APD policy. But in late November, Knee handed Schroeder an "indefinite suspension" – the civil service equivalent of a termination – writing in a disciplinary memo that Schroeder had violated several departmental policies, most importantly, that shooting Rocha violated the policy on use of force..."

Closing the Books
A UT editor says he lost his job at the Center for Mexican American Studies for complaining about administrative malfeasance.
News Story  September 12, 2003, by Jordan Smith
"...In a July 3 e-mail to CMAS staff, Limón wrote that CMAS Books was being eliminated because, he wrote, their "publishing efforts" are "no longer viable in their market, and ... we were publishing at a loss." Further, he wrote, "With the termination of our publishing efforts we are simply no longer in need of ....."

The War on Talking About the Drug War
Border Patrol agent loses job after stating the obvious
News Column  February 4, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"..."They also asked if he was a socialist," McCoy said. Gonzalez was completely surprised and devastated, when not long after and just a month before his probationary period would have ended, he was handed a termination letter..."

Precinct 2 Constables
Why on earth would anyone want to run for constable? You'd be surprised.
News Story  February 22, 2008, by Jordan Smith
"...The online criticism, in all directions, has grown from flame war to all-out assault – histrionic critiques of each candidate's qualifications and especially their characters. Labuda is blasted as an inexperienced dolt, while Ballesteros' termination from the Texas Department of Public Safety nearly a decade ago has provided fuel for allegations that he is either corrupt or in fact a criminal..."

APD's Follmer Fired
APD's Follmer Fired Rookie officer let go for role in September official oppression arrest.
News Story  June 9, 2006, by Jordan Smith
"...Austin Police Department acting Chief Cathy Ellison fired rookie Officer Joel Follmer on June 2 for his role in the September arrest of 25-year-old Ramon Hernandez, who fled the scene of a traffic accident. According to a one-paragraph termination letter, Follmer was fired for failing "to meet the standards expected of a probationary officer." Because Follmer was only several months out of the academy and still working on probationary officer status, his employment was at-will and not covered by civil service laws..."

Matters of Perception
Evidence suggest that former APD officer Timothy Enlow hasn't been completely honest -- nor have those who have testified against him.
News Story  September 27, 2002, by Jordan Smith
"...The first week of Enlow's arbitration hearing (before the hearing's interruption, testimony had been scheduled to end Wednesday, Sept. 25) raised more questions than it answered, chiefly: Why were certain investigative avenues ignored; why was Enlow fired for violating policies other officers routinely violated or ignored; and, in its determination to oust Timothy Enlow, did the city violate its own laws or APD regulations?..."

Former Artistic Director Sues Scottish Rite
Suit alleges slander and negligent termination
News Story  November 22, 2013, by Brandon Watson
"...13. Marks' lawsuit accuses the theatre board of slander, libel, negligent termination, and negligence in employee recruiting and supervision..."

The Doctor Is In – Then Out
Physician says she was fired for speaking out against bad management
News Story  August 19, 2011, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...On May 18, Dr. Amina Haji, a physician with CommUnityCare, the corporate health clinic system overseen by Central Health, received a termination letter from Dr..."

Quintana: Abused or Abuser?
Quintana denies abusing former fiancée
News Story  March 4, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...But in early 2010 he was fired after he was arrested and charged with drunken driving that January. He appealed that termination and won; less than a week later, Acevedo fired him again, this time for allegedly assaulting Noriega in October 2009..."

APD Dismissal: Religion, Incompetence ... or Psychological Misconduct?
Forced resignation of officer raises questions about APD procedures
News Story  December 25, 2009, by Jordan Smith
"...Whether those were simply rookie errors, or instead proved him unfit for law enforcement, was the central question argued last week in the federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Perez. Also at issue was whether those mistakes were the sole reason Perez was asked, in April 2005, to resign or face termination – or simply a pretext to get rid of him...."

Follmer Fights Back
Fired APD Officer Joel Follmer to seek reinstatement
News Story  June 16, 2006, by Jordan Smith
"...district court, and prosecutors later dropped the criminal charge on Follmer; in April, former APD Chief Stan Knee handed Gray a 70-day suspension for using excessive force during the arrest and for "acts bringing discredit" to the department. Officially, Follmer was let go for failing to "meet the standards expected of a probationary police officer," Ellison wrote in a one-paragraph termination letter..."

Point Austin: The Schroeder File
For APD and Austin, Knee's decision was the right one
News Column  December 9, 2005, by Michael King
"..."Not only did Officer Schroeder's entire chain of command agree that all the charges should be sustained," wrote Knee in his Nov. 18 termination memorandum to the Civil Service Commission, "they unanimously agreed that indefinite suspension [termination] was the appropriate discipline."..."

Point Austin: The Healing of Wounded Knee
A tale of two city memos suggests more than paper-shuffling needed at APD
News Column  February 25, 2005, by Michael King
"...To recap: In the course of disciplining two officers who had briefly concealed a domestic dispute involving one of them, Knee had (many weeks later) filed a false report with the attorney general's office – citing a nonexistent criminal investigation and pending termination – in order to request an extension of the already generous 180-day civil service time limit for disciplinary actions. Knee's conduct was compounded because he was charging the other of the two officers with "falsifying a government document" (the initial dispatch report) as grounds for termination..."

Medical Board Loses a Case ... and Attacks the Judge
Judge Hunter Burkhalter forced to resign by State Office of Administrative Hearings
News Story  March 14, 2018, by Michael King
"...Thanks to information provided by persons familiar with SOAH and documents received in response to open records requests, we learned that on Feb. 22, Burkhalter was forced to resign his ALJ position "in lieu of termination" by SOAH's administrator, Chief Administrative Law Judge Lesli G..."

Stomped Out
As Sheffield's case awaits trial, he still wonders why CLEAT took such drastic action against him
News Story  October 15, 2015, by Chase Hoffberger
"...Sheffield responded by saying he wanted them to know that any potential decline "was not my decision but instead it was John Burpo's." Burpo fired Sheffield that morning for continued defiance of CLEAT directives. Sheffield returned to CLEAT's Downtown office the next day to sign his termination papers. Firing Shots..."

In the Name of Ann Richards
AISD's School for Young Women Leaders is a district showcase – does its glittering reputation hide a darker side for teachers and students?
News Story  August 30, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...On a second evaluation by district staff, she was classified as proficient in all areas. "Jeanne insisted on averaging [her evaluation] with that one," Mason-Mur­phy said, "and because of that average, I was put on a growth plan." In AISD terms, a professional growth plan is effectively a probationary status, requiring specific improvements to avoid potential termination. Excellence by Attrition..."

Rights and Wrongs at Scottish Rite
Board president admits no wrongdoing in theatre director's termination
News Story  August 16, 2013, by Brandon Watson
"...New documents obtained by the Chronicle reflect that former Executive Director Emily Marks, hired in January of 2012, was at odds with the nonprofit's board leading up to her termination in late July. Tensions appear to have escalated at the May 2013 board meeting..."

GOP Politics Only at State Water Board
Politics is off-limits at the state Water Board – unless you're a Republican
News Story  December 21, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...She was being terminated from her job with the Texas Water Development Board after six years of employment, allegedly for violating the board's "ethics policy" related to engaging in political activity while on state time. Specifically, according to the section of the employee manual cited in the termination memo, "An employee shall not engage in any political activity while on state time or utilize state resources for any political activity."..."

GOP Politics Only at State Water Board
Employee fired for emails about Shea campaign
DAILY News  December 18, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...Specifically, according to the section of the employee manual cited in the termination memo, “An employee shall not engage in any political activity while on state time or utilize state resources for any political activity.”..."

Cop Terminated After Filing for ADA Accommodation
Amy Lynch wanted to come to work one hour later to help with a sleep disorder
News Story  September 14, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...Patrick Connor charged, and disobeyed an order to not "self-assign" cases, among other allegations – there was no formal investigation into her conduct, nor any discipline handed out. As such, her final termination comes without the possibility of appeal, as otherwise provided under civil service law..."

Gloria Gaynor Will Survive
Q&A with SXSW Music panelist/disco queen Gloria Gaynor
DAILY Music  March 5, 2012, by Greg Beets
"...AC: Have you sent notice to the record company to exercise your termination rights?..."

Sheffield To Contest Firing
Former APA leader ousted from CLEAT
News Story  July 22, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...Mike Sheffield, the retired Austin Police Department detective who was president of the Austin Police Associa­tion for eight years before retiring in 2006, was fired July 18 from his job as a field representative and training coordinator with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, the state's largest police union. The reason? CLEAT Executive Direct­or John Burpo isn't saying, and neither is Sheffield – that is, he isn't disclosing (for now, at least) the official reason Burpo cited for his termination, but it seems not all is well in cop union paradise..."

Lotto Madness Continues in Court
Judge recommends denying motion for summary judgment in Texas Lottery Commission whistle-blower suit
News Story  December 8, 2006, by Patricia J. Ruland
"...In his recommendation to Justice Lee Yeakel, who would preside over any trial, Austin wrote that Charles had become "frustrated with … misuse of government funds and (in his view) its languishing Recovery Site"; that "racial discrimination was rampant at the Commission" – in the form of higher salaries, preferential treatment, and promotions for whites; and that Charles witnessed lottery brass discussing "schemes … to avoid [producing] documents [requested by legislators and the press] concerning the Disaster Recovery Site." Seeking to have Charles' suit dismissed, Grief argued that Charles' e-mail to legislators was simply a work-related communication – part of the normal course of business – so it didn't really qualify as a protected whistle-blower report, meaning in turn that Grief should be immune to any allegation that Charles' termination was retaliatory. Grief denied any involvement in events leading to Charles' termination – noting that he wasn't even present when Charles was questioned...."

Don't Leave Us in the Dark
Local activists sign on to letter asking city manager to ensure public participation in process of selecting a new police chief
News Story  August 18, 2006, by Jordan Smith
"...The letter comes on the heels of an independent arbitrator's decision to uphold retired Chief Stan Knee's termination of Officer Julie Schroeder for violating the department's use-of-force policy in the shooting death of Daniel Rocha last summer during a drug-related traffic stop in Southeast Austin. The stop lead to a struggle between Schroeder and Rocha (who was wanted on a felony warrant) escalating into a fight also involving Schroeder's supervisor, Sgt..."

Final Disposition
The beleaguered Texas Funeral Service Commission once again finds itself mired in controversy
News Story  May 14, 2004, by Robert Bryce
"...The executive director of the TFSC during the SCI investigation, Eliza May, was soon alleging that she was pressured by Allbaugh and other Bush staffers to halt the ongoing investigation into the company's misdeeds. She later sued the state for wrongful termination..."

Glasgow's Punishment: A 90-Day Suspension
Family 'befuddled' by light discipline in Owens shooting case
News Story  February 13, 2004, by Jordan Smith
"...According to Glasgow's attorney Travis Williamson, city officials approached him before Glasgow's departmental Disciplinary Review Board hearing – during which the chief metes out punishment – "to try to work out a deal." Williamson said that he and Michael Rickman, Glasgow's civil service attorney, "felt fairly confidently" that without a deal Knee would fire Glasgow. Though Williamson claimed such a termination wouldn't hold up in arbitration, he said that appealing that decision would indefinitely prolong resolution of the case..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  January 11, 2002
"...And Enlow did racially profile. According to his termination memo, Enlow told investigators: "When I see a 16-year-old African American male get into a late model F-150 pickup in the Fiesta parking lot ....."

A Very Fuzzy Profile
Police officer Tim Enlow's "racial profiling" case may not be open and shut.
News Story  December 28, 2001, by Jordan Smith
"...On Aug. 7, he was indefinitely suspended (the civil service equivalent of termination) -- but not explicitly for racial profiling..."

Welfare Warfare
A Bill Is Born
News Story  November 13, 1998, by Jordan Smith
"...It was unusual that he had me getting those files," she explained in an August interview at the southeast Austin home of another former employee. "Then what was more unusual was that he had me changing them." In total, Smith says, she changed about 12 files by changing termination reasons...."

OPIC Letter to Freeport
News Story  November 10, 1995
"...1 OPIC recognizes that Article 7.02(c) provides the termination of the Contract is effective "as of the date of the breach," which clearly predated this notification. However, OPIC is extending the effective date of the termination to provide Freeport with an opportunity to discuss this matter, make alternative insurance arrangements if necessary and/or voluntarily terminate the policy...."

Dr. Robert Van Boven, the Whistleblower
Lakeway neurologist battles hospitals, officials, and the "culture of silence"
News Story  April 19, 2018, by Michael King
"...Moreover, in a remarkable act of vindictiveness, Freshour and the TMB recently retaliated against Judge Burkhalter, complaining to State Office of Administrative Hearings Chief Judge Lesli Ginn that Burk­halter's ruling in the Van Boven case was not only wrong but reflected evidence of bias. Despite Ginn's legal responsibility under state law to protect the "decisional independence" of ALJs, in February Ginn requested and received Burkhalter's resignation "in lieu of termination." That action has resulted in widespread protest inside and outside the agency, further investigations, and calls on Gov..."

"Rape Insurance" Bill Close to Becoming Law
HB 214 bars private, state-offered, and ACA abortion coverage
DAILY News  August 13, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...Their future baby would not survive birth. The doctor recommended termination of pregnancy, a decision the couple did not make lightly..."

Texas Sends Final Notice to Kick Planned Parenthood Out of Medicaid
Planned Parenthood says: We'll see you in court
DAILY News  December 20, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...Last October, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission sent a “termination letter” of Medicaid enrollment to the reproductive health care provider, citing “misconduct” in the highly edited and widely discredited videos released by the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress. The videos attempted to show Planned Parenthood providers profiting off the sale of fetal tissue – but all investigations into the video have shown no wrongdoing..."

Six Figures of Sick Pay
Did Acevedo backpedal on a suspension to avoid arbitration?
News Story  September 8, 2016, by Chase Hoffberger
"...He didn't want to go back to work, but he considered the punishment unjust and wanted to clear his name. "If you do an internet search – type in 'Johnny McMiller' – the first six or seven articles will be that termination," he told me..."

APA Files Grievance Against APD
Association accuses Acevedo of being retaliatory in his discipline
DAILY News  January 25, 2016, by Chase Hoffberger
"...In subsequent meetings, he went back and forth in his determinations as to whether Roberts violated APD policy, even after, Acevedo notes, Roberts had already accepted his 60-day discipline. Acevedo also wrote that McMiller was insubordinate “on more than one occasion” during the course of these IA investigations, violating Do-Not-Discuss orders and accusing Acevedo of “trying to force Assistant Chief Ockletree” – who, like McMiller, is black – “to retire so that I could promote another officer to Commander.” Acevedo additionally noted that McMiller “improperly attempted to thwart, influence, and interfere” with Roberts’ investigation, and was “disrespectful,” "accusatory,” and "confrontational” with Internal Affairs, his chain of command, and Acevedo’s executive branch throughout both investigations..."

Planned Parenthood Sues Texas Over Medicaid Exclusion
The provider claims the state is breaking federal law
DAILY News  November 23, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"...On Oct. 19, citing “evidence of Medicaid program violations” the Office of Inspector General at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission delivered a “termination letter” of Medicaid enrollment to the provider..."

APD's Copeland Suspended 90 Days
Oft-mentioned cop disciplined for April detainment
DAILY News  October 21, 2015, by Chase Hoffberger
"...His 90-day suspension, the most Acevedo can levy upon him without firing (or “indefinitely suspending,” according to the parlance of civil service), comes with a string of additional terms and conditions, and will be unappealable. It’s hard to imagine a more severe punishment outside of termination...."

State Cuts Medicaid for Planned Parenthood
State claims "misconduct" in undercover, dubious sting videos
DAILY News  October 19, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"...The termination letter from the Office of Inspector General – addressed to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast – references three “violations” based on undercover video, including altering the timing of abortion to procure fetal tissue and failing to prevent conditions that would spread infectious disease. The OIG also makes a claim that it possesses information “suggesting” fraud at PP clinics across Texas...."

APD Officer Fired, Again
Williams faces indefinite suspension after "mishandling" domestic distrubance call
News Story  July 23, 2015, by Chase Hoffberger
"...Two months before completing his probation, he was fired for failing to report and collect as evidence (as well as lying about) a cell phone hidden behind a ceiling tile at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Barton Springs Road, where Williams was working a second job. (In October, an independent arbitrator overruled the termination and reduced the suspension to 15 days after deciding that Williams was not guilty of Dishonesty.)..."

APD Officer Unfairly Punished?
Fender-bender results in 3-month suspension
News Story  June 18, 2015, by Chase Hoffberger
"...Assistant Chiefs Chris McIlvain and Jason Dusterhoft ordered an internal investigation, which ultimately concluded with Chief Art Acevedo signing off on the 90-day suspension. Hanner says the suspension came after threats from the fifth floor of an outright termination, and that Hancock waived any right to appeal the suspension as a trade-off so the three-year veteran – who, supporters note, won a Lifesaving Award at the 2015 Officers Distinguished Awards Ceremony last month – could keep his job..."

House Arrest
APD brass decided they had a problem with Officer Jermaine Hopkins – so they assigned him to stay-at-home duty until they could figure out what to do with him. That was a really bad idea.
News Story  December 18, 2014, by Chase Hoffberger
"...Hopkins was earning a base salary of $70,549.44 when he was assigned to his home in Sept. 2013, and he continued to earn that salary until his termination (in civil service terms, "indefinite suspension"), on Oct..."

Urban Farmers Celebrate Renteria Win
Springdale Farm's opponents not pleased, however
News Story  December 18, 2014, by Anna Toon
"...Springdale Farm is celebrating the victory of District 3's Sabino "Pio" Renteria after a series of contentious run-ins with his opponent (and sister) Susana Almanza. The particularly volatile debate swirled around the modification of a conditional overlay prohibiting outdoor entertainment on the farm as well as the termination of a restrictive covenant that would revert the commercially zoned property to Light Industrial and Single Family should the farm cease to operate its landscaping business..."

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