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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In 2002, acting Houston Police Department Chief M.W. Thaler suspended Pappillion for 14 days for violating the Fire Fighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Rules of the city of Houston. Pappillion appealed this suspension to a hearing examiner, who found that although Pappillion had violated the rules as charged, the city did not impose the temporary suspension within the 180 day period that is generally required. The examiner thus awarded Pappillion reinstatement and back pay. The city filed suit in district court, appealing the hearing examiner’s decision. The parties filed cross motions for summary judgment on whether the suspension was imposed within the required time period. The district court denied the city’s motion and granted that of Pappillion. Under Texas Local Government Code �143.1016(j), a district court may hear an appeal of a hearing examiner’s award only on the grounds that the examiner was without jurisdiction or exceeded his jurisdiction, or the examiner’s order was procured by fraud, collusion or other unlawful means. On appeal, the city contended that the hearing examiner’s order fell within �143.1016(j) because it constituted an “abuse of authority,” and that an abuse of authority means a decision so arbitrary and unreasonable that it amounts to a clear and prejudicial error of law. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court found that the city had not demonstrated that the hearing examiner applied the law incorrectly so as to be within the scope of review advocated by the city. The hearing examiner’s decision, the court stated, was well within a reasonable interpretation of the statute; thus, the city’s challenge on appeal failed to demonstrate that the trial court erred in affirming it under the city’s own interpretation of �143.1016(j). OPINION:Edelman, J.; Edelman and Guzman, J.J. CONCURRENCE:Fowler, J., concurred without an opinion.

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