Accused of Retaliation
The following article was submitted by Constable Chris Diaz:
On March 12, 2020, Harris County Precinct Two Constable Christopher Diaz moved to dismiss as baseless a federal lawsuit in which the plaintiffs have alleged Constable Diaz violated plaintiff’s rights under the First Amendment.
Constable Diaz’s motion to dismiss demonstrates the plaintiffs, several former employees and one current employee, did not engage in any constitutionally protected conduct and, further, there is no connection between any plaintiff’s allegedly protected conduct and a complained of, actionable employment decision. In fact, several plaintiffs have failed to even allege Constable Diaz had any direct involvement in the plaintiffs’ reassignment, discipline, or discharge at all.
Precinct Two’s records, available to the public under the Public Information Act, further refute each plaintiff’s baseless accusations and demonstrate the following:
Jerry Luman: On July 30, 2019, Precinct Two discharged Luman after the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct One each independently determined Luman had displayed a lack of commitment and concerning behavior that undermined Constable Diaz’s ability to operate Precinct Two. The Precinct One investigator also determined Luman was untruthful during the course of the investigation.
Norman Verbosky: On March 7, 2019, Precinct Two discharged Verbosky because of Verbosky had failed to improve his management skills and had failed to attend training with Harris County and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. At the recommendation of an independent law enforcement consultant and subject to Verbosky’s commitment to improve his management skills, Precinct Two twice offered to reinstate Verbosky’s employment. Verbosky declined reemployment and retired from law enforcement.
David Williams: Without any notice to Precinct Two, Williams voluntarily resigned his employment on August 28, 2019.
Sara “Cindy” Vara-Leija: Without any notice to Precinct Two, Leija voluntarily resigned her employment on August 2, 2019.
Marcus Anderson: On November 11, 2018, Anderson provided to Precinct Two a medical clearance in which a medical doctor indicated Anderson was “fit for duty.” Precinct Two subsequently reassigned Anderson’s shift.
Anderson voluntarily resigned his employment on January 4, 2019.
Reed Clark: Clark voluntarily resigned his employment on June 9, 2019.
Ana Herrera: Herrera voluntarily retired from Precinct Two on July 19, 2019.
Claudia Arellano: On May 30, 2019, Precinct Two discharged Arellano after an Internal Affairs investigation determined Arellano had violated an individual’s civil rights of due process by evicting that individual with a citation and not a writ of possession obtained after a hearing before a court of law.
Dwayne Pacifico: At the recommendation of an independent law enforcement consultant, Precinct Two re-assigned Pacifico’s shift.
On March 5, 2020, the Friendswood Police Department arrested Pacifico and charged him with felony injury to a child. Pacifico subsequently admitted to the Friendswood Police Department that he assaulted and injured the child, who is Pacifico’s family member. As a result of Pacifico’s admitted commission of a felony, as well as the findings of the Friendswood Police Department and Precinct Two’s Internal Affairs Division, Constable Diaz discharged Pacifico effective March 12, 2020.
Ricardo “Pico” Rodriguez: Rodriguez voluntarily resigned his employment on June 9, 2019.
Javier Zavala: Zavala voluntarily resigned his employment on August 15, 2019.
Mary Ann Carrion: Without any notice to Precinct Two, Carrion voluntarily resigned her employment on June 3, 2019.
Emily Rivera: Rivera voluntarily resigned her employment on March 19, 2019.
Constable Diaz has honorably served as constable since 2013 and most recently won re-election in 2016 by more than 30 percentage points. Constable Diaz is currently seeking re-election.
The Attorney for the Plaintiff issued the following statement:
“I fail to see how this lawsuit is baseless. This lawsuit involves the systematic termination of Diaz’s entire command staff after they protested Diaz’s squandered misuse of taxpayer funded police services for use in Diaz’ re-election campaign. If the citizens of Precinct 2 are unhappy with the police services provided by Diaz, there is good reason for that.”
The Poerschke Law Firm, PC