It's Going to Get Expensive as City Fends Off Former Municipal Judge's Retaliation Suit
Back in February we noted that former municipal judge Staci Williams -- a Hockaday graduate with a Georgetown law degree -- had filed a federal suit against the city of Dallas over her dismissal in June 2010, when the city council's Ad-Hoc Legislative Committee refused to reappoint her to that position.
Long story short: Williams claims she was sexually harassed by Administrative Judge C. Victor Lander -- referring, for instance, to a bruise on her leg as the result of "kinky sex," according to court docs -- and then punished by trying to do something about it. Says the amended complaint filed last month, which follows, "As Williams continued to rebuff Lander's advances and ignore his retaliatory, harassing and discriminatory actions, Lander's conduct escalated, including increasingly making and documenting allegations of minor violations against her." Which, she says, ultimately led to her being the sole incumbent not reappointed to her position by the judicial nominating commission, despite other top-notch reviews.
The city insists Lander and the council committee did nothing wrong: "Defendant denies that Judge Lander ever made any unwelcome comments or advances, or otherwise engaged in any unlawful activity towards Plaintiff." That's from court docs filed only last week -- docs, you'll note on the other side, that were filed by attorneys at Munck Carter, which is repping the city in this case, which, if it goes to trial, will play to a packed house.
The reason the City Attorney's Office isn't handling the case? Williams blames her dismissal, in part, on the actions of City Attorney Tom Perkins, who, in the city's answer, acknowledges that he "provided a summary of all complaints regarding municipal court judges in response to Councilmember Vonciel Jones-Hill's request." But that's all, he says, nothing more -- and nothing personal, swear. Anyway: The council was briefed on the case today behind closed doors in advance of a vote on next Wednesday's agenda to increase the amount it's ready to pay Munck Carter to defend the case -- "from $25,000 to $350,000."Staci Williams v City of Dallas Answer to Amended Complaint