County dismissed from videotaping lawsuit

Federal Judge Gray Miller has dismissed Harris County from a lawsuit filed by a man who claimed his constitutional rights were violated when he was arrested while videoing a deputy sheriff’s interaction with a motorist during a “seat belt” check. The court found that the plaintiff’s conclusory argument that there was no policy and little training in place was not sufficient evidence to establish the lack of a policy was a deliberate or conscious decision on the part of Harris County.  The court found that the plaintiff failed to provide any evidence that Harris County deputy sheriffs retaliating against civilians is a widespread practice or custom in Harris County.  The case is Basler vs. Harris County. Assistant County Attorney Laura Hedge represented Harris County.


Sheriff's Office Employee's Whistleblower Lawsuit Dismissed

The 14th Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a Whistleblower suit filed against Harris County by the former  Director of Infrastructure Technology for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The director claimed he was fired for reporting wrongdoing to law enforcement agencies although the employer’s stated reasons were for his failure to manage and accomplish goals in his department.  The Court agreed with the County’s argument that the employee’s failure to follow the department’s grievance procedures was a jurisdictional defect precluding him from bringing his Whistleblower claimThe case is Mata vs Harris County.  Click here to read the opinion.