City staff members want to appeal an arbitrator’s order to pay a police officer almost $50,000 in back pay and cover another $70,000 in attorney fees for removing him from a Galveston-Bolivar Ferry detail in 2017 upon his promotion to lieutenant.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter @HeathKeri.


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(4) comments

Don Schlessinger

Bust the guy back to sergeant and let him work the ferry. Geez!

Wayne D Holt

Without me being privy to the details, it seems an arbitrator would have access to all the information relevant to whether police management indeed had the authority to remove Lt. Stevens in this situation. The City would have presented their side of the story during arbitration, as would Stevens.

Is there some reason to think the arbitrator missed a key detail that would throw this to the City now? New information? Undue bias on the part of the arbitrator?

If there is none of the above, I wonder what the basis for an appeal would be. It sounds like the City is just repeating the same line of reasoning used in the arbitration, which failed.

We're in it for $70 large already, in addition to the payment itself. How much more is City Council willing to risk in attorney fees should an appeal flop and the taxpayers have to dig even deeper for the privilege of seeing their money go to legal fees instead of infrastructure improvements?

Can someone tell me how it undermines police management to pay what an arbitrator finds as proper? To follow Mr. Collins' line of "reasoning", taxpayers would have to backstop every misstep taken by a chief just to preserve his authority. I don't think Galveston taxpayers feel flush enough to follow that kind of advice.

Theresa Elliott

Well said Mr Holt.

Charlotte O'rourke

The actual news story and the summary below appear to conflict.

“On whether to appeal:

For: Mayor pro tem Craig Brown, District 5 Councilman John Paul Listowski

Against: District 1 Councilwoman Amy Bly, District 3 Councilman David Collins, District 6 Councilwoman Jackie Cole

Absent: District 4 Councilman Jason Hardcastle”

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