Understanding the TCOLE Role in Complaints Against Law Officers
Texas law provides TCOLE authority to investigate complaints against law enforcement professionals for two types of violations:
- Violations of rules or laws related to licensing, training, certification, appointment, and related standards;
- Conviction, placement on court-ordered supervision, or probation for a covered criminal offense (defined as anything above a Class C Misdemeanor).
Upon receipt of a complaint for a jurisdictional offense, TCOLE investigators review the allegations. After the preliminary investigation, depending on the nature of the complaint, the complaint is classified as an administrative or criminal case. The TCOLE Enforcement Division has the authority to issue a formal reprimand to law enforcement professionals as well as suspend or revoke law enforcement licenses.
By law, the Commission is required to provide notice of the intended disciplinary actions. Once notified, you have the right to request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). The ALJ does not have final authority over disciplinary actions; rather, the ALJ sends a Proposal for Final Decision (PFD) to the TCOLE Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners can then either adopt or modify the proposed order.
Protect Your License. Bertolino LLP Can Help.
As soon as you know you face an enforcement action, you need to move fast to protect your license. The legal team at Bertolino LLP can help. We are familiar with the complex processes involved in administrative hearings and we can help you take on the TCOLE and protect your career.