The Tennessee Court of Appeals has again ruled in favor of a former Burns police officer who says he was fired after complaining he was pressured to fix tickets given to the stepson of the then-chief of the department. In an opinion filed Monday, the court found that Larry Williams was fired in violation of the Tennessee Public Protection Act, also known as the “Whistleblower Statute,” and ordered a hearing to determine damages. Williams was fired for violating the Burns Police Department’s chain of command and insubordination April 29, 2008. Williams claimed then-Chief Jerry Sumerour fired him because he complained to the mayor that the chief pressured him to reduce to warnings tickets for speeding and reckless driving he had written to Sumerour’s 16-year-old stepson a month earlier. On the advice of the town’s attorney, the tickets were later reissued. In the opinion written by Judge Richard Dinkins, the appeals court reversed a decision in Dickson County Circuit Court that ruled Williams did not prove he was fired for complaining about being ordered to fix the tickets. In its opinion, the court ruled Williams did not violate the chain of command by going to the mayor because his complaint was about his immediate supervisor. The court also found “the evidence shows the contention that Mr. Williams was guilty of insubordination was a pretext for unlawful termination.” Sumerour was charged with a misdemeanor for ticket-fixing, which was later dismissed by a special prosecutor. Sumerour was fired as chief in April 2009 on an unrelated insubordination claim. He is now an officer with the Dickson Police Department. The Court of Appeals previously reversed a circuit court dismissal of the lawsuit and ordered a trial. After hearing arguments in May and reviewing the record, the appeals court again reversed the decision and remanded the case back to Dickson County Circuit Court for a “hearing on the relief due” to Williams. The current mayor and Board of Commissioners will consult with the town’s insurance company attorneys to determine whether the decision will be appealed.