Time for Williamson County Commissioners Court to Settle the Civil Rights Lawsuit.
On Wednesday, Sept 2nd, a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit claiming that Williamson County officials asked illegal questions about religious and political beliefs during job interviews to fill a constable seat.
A date has yet to be set for trial but it is expected to be in early 2016.
“We look forward to go to trial,” Wayne Krause Yang, Texas Civil Rights Project legal director, said in a press conference Monday. The suit alleges that commissioners violated Lloyd's civil rights when they were interviewing him for the position of Williamson County Constable, Pct. 3.
The Civil Right lawsuit began after Robert Lloyd went in for an interview for a constable position in March of 2013. Lloyd says he was asked about his personal views and did not object at the time because he wanted the job, but later called the Texas Civil Rights Project when he thought the questions he was asked were illegal. Lloyd was asked questions concerning his views on abortion, gay marriage, religion and political affiliations. It is illegal to ask religious and political means test questions.
Lloyd, who had worked in law enforcement for more than 25 years, said the first question he was asked was what his view on abortion was. Later, he was asked whether he was for or against gay marriage and about his political preferences, including his voting record. These question are illegal to be brought up during a job interview according to the attorneys.
It is time for the Williamson County Commissioners to settle this lawsuit. After 2 years of arrogance towards the public denying the oath they took to uphold the law, it is time for them to just admit you made a mistake, that you made an error of judgment, settle this lawsuit and move on.
In January 2014, the county agreed to settle for a total of $100,000 with Fred Churchill and Robert Goodrich, who were also part of the Texas Civil Rights Project lawsuit, but Lloyd wasn’t part of the settlement, according to county documents. At least $200,000 for outside legal fees has already been wasted. How much has been spent through in-house legal staff can not be calculated but these figures should be comparable to the amount already spent in outside legal attorneys by now.
There is enough evidence in the notes and depositions that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the county commissioners asked inappropriate questions of Job Interviewees.
The questions used during the interview process violated the US and the Texas Constitution.
After spending over $500,000.00 of our Tax Payer’s money to defend their indefensible actions, I am angry.
I am angry that you squandered away so much of our taxpayers money.
I am angry because this money could have helped 5 people through the County’s Indigent Health Care Program – REMEMBER when you cut it in 2012 stating that you were running out of money?
I am angry because you eliminated funding for two county funded positions for Child Protective Services caseworkers in the county, because you said you couldn’t afford the $50,000.
I am angry because you cut the entire $15,000 budget for early childhood intervention programs run by the Bluebonnet Trails Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center for lack of money.
I am angry because you reduced your support of Meals on Wheels
I am angry because you slashed your support for the Hope Alliance, which provides shelter and counseling for abused women and children.
I am angry because you to cut the county's entire $20,000 contribution to the Capital Area Rural Transportation System, which provides rides to people in rural areas without access to bus service.
I am angry that you can cut all these Social Services for the poor, for children, for the elderly and the indigent – yet, you have no trouble continuing to pay high price lawyers from New York City.
I am angry that you seem to be throwing our money down the drain.
Settle This Lawsuit. It is time to drop your arrogance and Settle NOW.