The Field Review - Local

Prior Kyle Police Association President Had 1 Hearing on Motion to Vacate Arbitration Award

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing in this publishing or on this website should be taken as legal advice.

The prior Kyle Police Association President, Jesse Espinoza, had a hearing on May 25, 2022, to defend his filing involving a motion to vacate an award issued in an arbitration process. He was given an indefinite suspension by the City of Kyle and is in the process of attempting to reverse it.

The case stems from a Federal lawsuit on the City of Kyle, filed by Doctor Glen Hurlston. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed due to a concept called “heck bar.” This concept is spelled out in Heck v. Humphrey et al through a Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

It means, per the opinion issued, that an individual cannot pursue damages for an action unless a conviction was reversed or invalidated. Although Dr. Hurlston was not convicted, he did accept deferred adjudication which has been said to implicate the “Heck Bar,” element.

Nothing But Retaliation towards the Prior Kyle Police Association President

In any case, the argument by the prior Kyle Police Association President was the city did not take his complaint seriously, or even investigate it; but rather, took action on him. We have witnessed a similar theme in a petition of mandamus issued on the City Manager, J. Scott Sellers. The hearing date on that filing is July 26, 2022.

The documents indicate the City of Kyle decided to defend another employee, rather than listen to what Espinoza had to offer. Espinoza seems to be claiming matters associated with official misconduct, but those claims, per Espinoza, lead no where; but to his own indefinite suspension. He also claims the hearing examiner would not let him call certain witnesses.

As a note, an indefinite suspension is a term which holds the equivalent value of a termination from employment; but is what people with Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) licenses could receive.

The Parties Disagree

The City of Kyle’s stance on the motion to vacate filed by the prior Kyle Police Association President, Jesse Espinoza, is the hearings were not arbitrations and the statute of limitations has expired.

However, Jesse Espinoza’s lawyers filed rebuttal, stating the hearings were arbitration, and the statute of limitation has not passed because the case was filed less than 90 days from the final issuance of an arbitration decision; regardless, of when the case was served because it was never dismissed prior to service of process.

The rebuttal also seems to indicate part of Local Government Code, Section 143.057, (j), which states: “A district court may hear an appeal of a hearing examiner’s award only on the grounds …. that the order was procured by fraud, collusion, or other unlawful means.” The Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 171.088 states one can request to vacate an award; specifically, “(a) On application of a party, the court shall vacate an award if: (1) the award was obtained by corruption, fraud, or other undue means. (b) A party must make an application under this section not later than the 90th day after the date of delivery of a copy of the award to the applicant.

What Was the Court’s Decision?

So, what did the Court decided on May 25, 2022? It decided it needed more information before it could make a decision on whether the case can proceed.

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may be interested in reading one of our publishings about a prior City Attorney getting indicted by the Federal Government after his prior employer filed three lawsuits on him.

Or, if politics are your thing, then reading our publishing about who the Hays County District Attorney candidates are for this election year.