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Appeal from the United States District Court For the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division

I. Introduction

Mr. Randall Coggin, a public school employee, brought this � 1983 suit against his employer, a Texas independent school district, because its board of trustees terminated his employment contract for cause without any kind of a hearing. After a bench trial, the district court rendered judgment in favor of Coggin. We affirm. Because the school board was the final policy and decision maker with respect to the discharge of employees for cause, the board’s deliberate choice of discharging the employee without a hearing was the moving force and direct cause of the unconstitutional deprivation of Coggin’s property right without due process of law. Contrary to the school board’s assertion, Coggin timely filed his request for a hearing under state law and did not waive his federal constitutional right to a hearing. And opposed to the school board’s alternative argument, the Commissioner’s wrongful refusal to grant Coggin a hearing under state law was not the moving force that deprived Coggin of his property right. The school board, not the Commissioner, terminated Coggin’s employment contract. The Commissioner’s failure to appoint a hearing examiner did not prevent the school board from complying with the minimal requirements of federal due process before discharging Mr. Coggin. Consequently, there was no direct causal link between the Commissioner’s conduct and the school board’s deliberate decision to destroy Coggin’s property interest without first granting him some form of a hearing.

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