It is difficult to be asked into your boss’ office to have him tell you that your work performance is unacceptable or maybe even that you are being fired. But, it may be even worse to have your employer call you a liar during a press conference held in one of the largest cities in the country and insist you never will work for him again.

Sergeant Ryan Chandler, who worked for the homicide division of the Houston Police Department until earlier this year, experienced that second, very public, scenario and is now fighting a legal battle to get his job back.

This past spring, the city’s police department shared the findings of an internal affairs investigation of its homicide division. The information was not good for those working to find justice for the families of those who had been murdered in Houston. Case files were found stacked up in piles or stuffed under the desks of detectives. There was little evidence of investigative progress on a number of cases. The folders were stored with locks or other security and sometimes would be taken from the main file room for weeks or months at a time.

While the blame for these problems was shared by many within the department, Chandler’s work was spotlighted as having the most egregious flaws. He was called out by Police Chief Charles McClelland and fired for his work performance on more than a dozen murder files.

An arbitration hearing just wrapped up in which the case was made both for and against Sgt. Chandler getting his job back. Chandler insists he was a hard worker who was overwhelmed by the volume of cases and insufficient training. His bosses counter that he wasn’t really trying at all, and the police chief even went so far as to argue that Chandler should have been criminally charged for his negligence. It could be months before a decision one way or the other is reached.

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It is not unusual for an employee and employer to have differing perspectives on job performance. Or, sometimes this disagreement is between a professional and his or her client or customer. When doctors and realtors and other licensed professionals are challenged regarding work performance, they need to seek legal counsel to guide them through the process of defending their livelihood and reputation.

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At Bertolino LLP, we have attorneys who specialize in professional license defense and we are ready to help. If you are facing a formal complaint, please call us today. Don’t take a chance on your career.

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