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The appeal states that the chief of police and her subordinates have authority only to confirm the penalty of the trial board, reduce it or order a new trial board. “As has been previously litigated,” Mr. Wilhite writes in the Dixon appeal, “The Department is legally precluded from circumventing the Trial Board decision and issuing its own guilty finding and penalty determination.

“If Ms. Walton did not agree with the Trial Board’s recommendations, she only had the power to remand the decision back to the Panel for reconsideration,” he continued. “By allowing Ms. Walton unfettered discretion to impose any penalty she desires, an officer subject to removal is placed in a ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ situation that defeats the purpose of the hearing.”