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Wright v. City of Mobile

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

October 24, 2014

Angela Wright
v.
City of Mobile

Appeal from Mobile Circuit Court. (CV-13-117).

APPLICATION GRANTED; OPINION OF AUGUST 1, 2014, WITHDRAWN; OPINION SUBSTITUTED; AFFIRMED.

For Appellant: Carroll J. Ogden, Mobile.

For Appellee: Wanda B. Rahman, Asst. City Atty., City of Mobile Police Department, Mobile.

Thompson, P.J., and Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.

Page 657

On Application for Rehearing

MOORE, Judge.

This court's no-opinion order of affirmance issued on August 1, 2014, is withdrawn, and the following is substituted therefor.[1]

Page 658

Angela Wright appeals from a judgment of the Mobile Circuit Court (" the trial court" ) reinstating her to her employment with the City of Mobile subject to a suspension without pay for 30 days. We affirm.

Background

Wright worked as a Public Safety Dispatcher for the City of Mobile Police Department (" the COMPD" ) for approximately 22 years. On February 1, 2013, the COMPD notified Wright that it intended to hold a pre-disciplinary meeting on February 6, 2013, to consider taking adverse-employment action against her. In that notice, the COMPD charged Wright with violations of the Rules of the Mobile County Personnel Board, specifically Rules 14.2(f), providing that the employment of an employee may be terminated for " incapacity due to mental or physical disability ....," and 14.2(l), providing that the employment of an employee may be terminated for violation of any lawful or reasonable regulations or order made and given by a superior officer. The notice was addressed to Wright from Mayor Samuel L. Jones as " Designated Appointing Authority," but it was signed by Major Curley L. Rogers as " Hearing Officer."

At the February 6, 2013, pre-disciplinary hearing, Wright submitted a written memorandum responding to the charges. The hearing then proceeded before a " Trial Board" consisting of Major Rogers, Captain Clay Goodwin, and Captain Bareneise Dixon, officers of the COMPD; the Trial Board's function was to listen to the evidence adduced at the hearing and to make recommendations to the COMPD's Chief of Police as to the appropriate action to take. Mayor Jones did not attend the hearing. The Trial Board found the charges to be substantiated and recommended that Wright's employment be suspended for 30 days without pay.[2]

Despite that recommendation, on February 14, 2013, Mayor Jones sent Wright a document entitled " Official Notice of Dismissal," ...


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