Why Bad Cops Bounce Back.

THE POLICE DEPARTMENT SAYS they have lied, cheated or violated police rules of conduct. Chief Ben Click, who has an unofficial but well-known “you lie, you die” policy, fired them. But they’re baaaaaack-reinstated as Dallas police officers by administrative law judges who hear the appeals of civil service employees. Last year, Click complained to the city council, saying the appeals process threatens to “undermine the credibility of the police department.” In response, the council changed the way administrative law judges are appointed. The sole judge reappointed under the new process was Dr. Paula Ann Hughes, a dean at the University of Dallas. Some recent appeals, and their results:


Reason for Termination: Allegedly made improper comments to prostitute; present when another officer engaged in sexual misconduct on duty and failed to report it to supervisor; present when civilian observer participated in sex act and failed to report it

Decision: Reinstated with full back pay and benefits

Judge: Burnett Goodstein


Reason for Termination: Allegedly attempted to interfere with court testimony of officer in pending criminal trial; gave false testimony in criminal court; submitted false internal statement

Decision: Reinstated without back pay to 349-day suspension, upheld one of two charged rule violations

Judge: Paula Hughes


Reason for Termination: Allegedly submitted a false internal statement; conducted improper search of vehicle; failed to obey supervisor’s order; used countermeasures to defeat a polygraph; displayed unprofessional behavior in drug court

Decision: Reinstated to 40-day suspension, upheld three of six charged rule violations

Judge: Barnett Goodstein