The City of Fort Worth cannot hire a new police chief for at least two weeks, a Dallas County judge ruled Friday.
Judge Gena Slaughter granted former Fort Worth police Chief Joel Fitzgerald's request for a temporary restraining order to stop his former employer from replacing him.
Fitzgerald's attorney, Stephen Kennedy, said the Fort Worth City Council didn't have a hearing regarding the ex-chief, as is required by the city charter.
The former chief wants his job back, Kennedy told the judge.
Fitzgerald was fired in May after three-and-a-half years as Fort Worth's top cop. He was often embroiled in controversy during his tenure.
City Manager David Cooke said there were many factors that led to the decision to fire the chief.
"I don't know if I could tell you the biggest issue," Cooke said at the time. "I think over time it's a series of items."
Fitzgerald filed a civil suit against the city fighting his termination and alleging he was fired because he was a whistleblower.
He alleges Fort Worth city officials falsely claimed the city was in compliance with crime reporting and that the former chief “learned that city officials had intentionally destroyed documents that were required to be maintained for public access.”
The temporary restraining order doesn't prevent city leaders from seeking or interviewing candidates for the police chief position, but it does prevent them from hiring a full-time replacement for Fitzgerald.
The next hearing is scheduled Aug. 1.