FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — A former Fort Lauderdale police officer will not be getting his job back after an arbitrator upholds the city’s decision to fire him for sending alleged racist text messages on his personal phone.READ MORE: Experts Don't Anticipate National Supply Chain Crisis To End Anytime Soon
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler says it’s a sad day for the officer but an important one for the city.
“You can’t have that type of language, that type of communication out there in the streets of Fort Lauderdale when we’re trying to provide the best possible protection and the best way to serve this community,” said Mayor Seiler.
Investigators say James Wells exchanged racially-charged messages with three other officers and an offensive homemade video violating rules of conduct and code of ethics. He was fired last year in March.
This past February he went before an arbitrator trying to convince him his dismissal was not fair and he should be reinstated.READ MORE: One Area To Watch In Atlantic Over Next Week
“I thought I was assured privacy in those conversations,” Wells said about the messages during the arbitration hearing.
During the hearing Wells says the “n” word used extensively in his text messages refer to a specific type of bad guy.
“The worst of the criminals not a specific race or gender. The worst of the worst,” said Wells.
But despite Wells’ efforts to get his job back, the arbitrator decided the city was justified in firing him.
In a 22-page arbitration decision released Tuesday, the arbiter wrote, “Between his training in the Army, his Academy training to become a police officer, the various oaths that he took along the way and recognition of what policing should be, it is surprising and sad that Wells’ conduct departed so far from acceptable standards.”MORE NEWS: Teen Sister Of Officer Yandy Chirino's Accused Killer Taken Into Custody
The city also fired two other officers for sending alleged racist text messages. A fourth officer involved resigned. We reached out to Wells’ attorney for comment but did not hear back from him.