Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth
THE 48TH DISTRICT COURT OF TARRANT COUNTY TRIAL COURT NO.
SUDDERTH, C.J.; MEIER and GABRIEL, JJ.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
SUDDERTH CHIEF JUSTICE
Tibor Kovacs was initially terminated from the Arlington
Police Department (APD) for violating a number of personnel
rules, but an arbitrator later reinstated him. City of
Arlington v. Kovacs, 508 S.W.3d 472, 473 (Tex. App.-Fort
Worth 2015, pet. denied). The trial court confirmed the
arbitration award, and Appellant the City of Arlington
appealed, asking this court to determine whether the
arbitrator had exceeded his authority by relying on evidence
of events that occurred after the City terminated Kovacs.
Id. at 473, 480. We decided that the arbitrator had
exceeded his authority to resolve the dispute because the
City's personnel manual limited the extent to which the
arbitrator could consider post-termination evidence and
because the arbitrator's written decision confirmed that
he had improperly considered post-termination evidence in
determining whether Kovacs had violated the personnel rules
as charged. Id. at 473, 479. Accordingly, we
reversed the trial court's judgment and remanded the case
to the trial court for further proceedings. Id. at
remand, Kovacs asked the trial court to send the matter to
the arbitrator for reconsideration and argued that
"[t]he Court of Appeals was wrong on several
fronts." The City opposed Kovacs's motion and asked
the trial court to vacate the arbitrator's award and to
enter a final judgment for the City.
trial court vacated the award and remanded the case to the
original arbitrator for rehearing. Kovacs moved to modify the
trial court's order of remand and to affirm the original
arbitration award; he also requested findings of fact and
conclusions of law. The trial court declined both requests.
Each party filed a notice of appeal to this
court. We may consider the record from the first
appeal in considering this second appeal. See Humphries
v. Humphries, 349 S.W.3d 817, 820 n.1 (Tex. App.-Tyler
2011, pet. denied).
single issue, the City asks us to determine whether the trial
court erred by remanding the case for a new arbitration
before the original arbitrator, arguing that the arbitration
agreement only contemplates that the award may be set aside.
In the first three of his four cross-issues, Kovacs attempts
to revisit issues decided in the first appeal,  and in his fourth
cross-issue, he objects to the trial court's denial of
his request for findings of fact and conclusions of law. We
affirm the trial court's judgment.
out in our prior opinion, in 2010 and 2011, APD charged
Kovacs with having violated City personnel manual rules and
then fired him. See Kovacs, 508 S.W.3d at 473-74.
Kovacs argues in his second cross-issue that he was not
officially terminated until after the conclusion of an
administrative appeal in May 2011, Kovacs was notified of his
proposed dismissal by Acting Police Chief Will Johnson on
January 21, 2011, and given two days to file a response. In
the January 21, 2011 notice, Kovacs was informed that if the
acting chief decided that dismissal remained appropriate
after reviewing his response, the dismissal would
"become effective immediately following [that]
decision" and Kovacs could then pursue a formal appeal
to Police Chief Theron L. Bowman. Accordingly, we overrule
Kovacs's second cross-issue to the extent it is not
otherwise barred by our previous opinion pursuant to the
unsuccessfully attempted the administrative appeal and then
requested that the termination decision be reviewed by
arbitration. Id. at 474. The arbitrator acknowledged
that he was limited by the City's personnel manual to
determining whether Kovacs violated the personnel rules
"as charged" and whether the disciplinary action was
reasonable. Id. at 474. In his written decision, the
arbitrator concluded that-based on events occurring after
Kovacs's termination-the City had failed to establish by a
preponderance of the evidence the most serious charges.
Id. at 474-75. Thus, the arbitrator determined that
Kovacs should be reinstated, given a twenty-day suspension,
and awarded back pay. Id. at 475.
to the personnel manual, the City filed a petition in
district court seeking to vacate the arbitrator's award
on the ground that the arbitrator had exceeded his authority
by improperly relying on evidence that was unavailable at the
time that Kovacs was fired in January 2011. Id.
trial court determined that Kovacs was not entitled to back
pay during the time he was incarcerated but otherwise
confirmed the award, and the City appealed to this court,
raising the same argument as to the arbitrator's having
exceeded his authority. Id. We agreed, reversed the
trial court's judgment confirming the ...