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Alexander v. City of Alexandria

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

November 5, 2014

RAYMOND ALEXANDER
v.
CITY OF ALEXANDRIA, ET AL

APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 245,375. HONORABLE MARY LAUVE DOGGETT, DISTRICT JUDGE.

Kelvin G. Sanders, Attorney at Law, Alexandria, Louisiana, Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant: Raymond Alexander.

Steven M. Oxenhandler, Michael J. O'Shee, Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell, Alexandria, Louisiana, Counsel for Defendant/Appellee: City of Alexandria.

Brian D. Cespiva, Attorney at Law, lexandria, Louisiana, Counsel for Defendant/Appellee: Alexandria Municipal Fire & Police Civil Service Board.

Court composed of J. David Painter, James T. Genovese, and Phyllis M. Keaty, Judges.

OPINION

Page 591

[14-452 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] KEATY, Judge.

Plaintiff, Raymond Alexander, Sr., appeals the trial court's judgment in favor of Defendants, the City of Alexandria (the City) and the Alexandria Municipal Fire & Police Service Board (the Board). For the following reasons, the trial court's judgment is affirmed.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In this employment termination case, the issue is whether the standards required by La.R.S. 33:2181(B)(2) for notifying a fireman that he was under investigation were met. In that regard, Alexander was a firefighter employed by the Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) who lied about having an ill son in order to delay having to take a random drug test, which was scheduled for the morning of March 28, 2012. On the evening prior to the drug screen, Alexander had taken pain medication not prescribed to him by a doctor, and he feared failing the test for that reason. Alexander caused further delay by falsely claiming that he was meeting with his daughter in Lafayette on the morning of March 29, 2012. As a result of his lies, almost forty-eight hours passed between the time he said he took the medication and the time he finally took the drug test on the evening of March 29, 2012. His test results came back as diluted. Alexander was subsequently terminated by the AFD through written correspondence dated May 10, 2012.

Alexander appealed his termination to the Board, which affirmed the AFD's decision. Alexander then appealed the Board's decision to the trial court, which also affirmed the Board's decision.

In this instant appeal, Alexander assigns as error the trial court's affirmation of the Board's decision not to reverse the AFD's termination. Alexander contends [14-452 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] that the AFD failed to meet the standards required by Louisiana law, La.R.S. 33:2181(B)(2), for notifying a fireman that he was under investigation.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The standard of review utilized in this civil service disciplinary matter was enunciated by the supreme court in Mathieu v. New Orleans Public Library, 09-2746, pp. 5-6 (La. ...


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