Judge Dismisses Appeal Of Fort Smith Police Whistleblower Termination

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Circuit Judge Stephen Tabor dismissed the appeal of a termination on Monday (Oct. 19), involving a police officer who had been fired for “violating police department rules and regulations.”

The City of Fort Smith filed a motion to dismiss the case for “lack of jurisdiction based on failure to timely file notice of appeal with the Civil Service Commission,” according to court documents.

Don Bales had attempted to appeal his termination, after he was fired on Oct. 20, 2014. The decision of the Fort Smith Civil Service Commission was then rendered on Nov. 4, 2014.

According to the Arkansas Court of Appeals, anyone wishing to appeal an administrative decision (as is the case in Bales’ appeal) must do so with the commission within 30 days from the date of the decision. Court documents state that Bales forwarded his notice of appeal to the commission on Dec. 5, 2014, 31 days after the decision.

The court order states:

“The Plaintiff had an obligation, if he wished to appeal the decision of the Commission, to file his notice with them withing thirty (30) days. He did not, thereby depriving this Court of jurisdiction to hear his appeal.”


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