Hearing Examiner Orders Temple Officer Reinstated With Pay

TEMPLE (August 28, 2014) A hearing examiner who heard an appeal from a Temple police officer who was fired last November after the police chief said he used excessive force during an arrest has ordered the officer reinstated with all but 15-days lost pay.

Hearing examiner Michael B. Reynolds ordered Temple police Chief Gary Smith to reinstate Officer Daniel Amaya to his former rank and position and said Smith must pay Amaya all but 15-days pay and reimburse all of his benefits for the time he has been suspended.

It wasn't clear when Amaya might be back on the job.

Temple police spokesman Cpl. Christopher Wilcox said the department would have no comment until details had been worked out.

Smith suspended Amaya on November 13, 2013 after the chief determined Amaya had violated several department policies during the arrest of Lorenzo Martinez, then 15, as officers arrested Martinez as a suspect in an incident outside the Temple Walmart.

Amaya and another officer, Jeremy Bales, both were fired and both appealed their dismissal.

Both also are named in a civil lawsuit filed by Martinez’s mother on his behalf, the outcome of which has not yet been determined.

Brad Heilman, Amaya’s attorney for the hearing, said Tuesday he is pleased with the outcome, the ruling for which may only be appealed under strict circumstances.

The outcome of Bales’ appeal was not discussed.

The civil suit, filed in May by Elsa Martinez, alleges the officers violated the rights of her son Lorenzo during the arrest.

Martinez and her son told News 10 at the time the teen was sitting in a car in the Temple Walmart parking lot waiting for his girlfriend to come out of the store when he noticed someone getting arrested near the front of the business.

When he went to check it out one of the officers thought he was involved, he said.

The teen said he was slammed to the ground, held down and choked after officers tried to handcuff him.

He said things got physical again when the officers took him inside the store near an office and Martinez spit on the floor.

Elsa Martinez said after the incident she took her son to the emergency room because she'd noticed a lump on his collarbone.

She said doctors at the Scott & White Emergency Room told her he had a broken clavicle.

The suit seeks unspecified damages for assault and battery, unlawful imprisonment and wrongful arrest as well as for medical care and pain and suffering.