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Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on Apr 15, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Frank J. Scanlon and Samuel P. Helmbrecht, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Pressley.

Attorneys 2:

Bryce Coatney, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction.

Judge(s): STAFFORD

Employee of the Tennessee Department of Correction filed an administrative appeal challenging the termination of his employment. The board of appeals reduced the termination to a fourteen-day suspension. On appeal to the trial court, the chancery court ruled that the burden of proof was improperly allocated to the Tennessee Department of Correction in the hearing before the board of appeals. We reverse the decision of the chancery court and conclude that the board of appeals properly allocated the burden to the Tennessee Department of Correction. We further conclude that no substantial and material evidence in the record exists to support the board of appeals‘ finding that the employee committed negligence in the performance of his duties. We also reverse the board of appeals‘ decision denying the employee‘s request for attorney‘s fees in the prosecution of his appeal to the board of appeals and remand to the board of appeals for a determination of those fees.