Gonzalez v. City of Los AngelesAnnotate this Case
The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's judgments granting petitions for writ of mandate filed by plaintiffs, former LAPD sergeants. The trial court ordered the city to vacate plaintiffs' terminations and provide them with the opportunity for an administrative appeal.
The court held that the city's provision of a hearing before the Board of Rights was the administrative appeal Government Code section 3304, subdivision (b) requires. In this case, plaintiffs' Board hearings were not optional but mandated, because the police chief's selected sanction was the ultimate penalty of removal and the City of Los Angeles Charter required automatic Board review. The court explained that the Charter's requirement of a Board hearing when the chief selects removal bakes into the standard procedure what the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBRA) requires: an administrative appeal for the officer to establish a formal record of the circumstances surrounding his removal, and to attempt to convince LAPD to change the sanction. The court declined to require more than POBRA mandates.