Workforce Commish Sides With Fired Deputy Constable. Which Is Why Dallas County Is Suing.
The Holy Trinity, when they broke the news that some deputy constables hadn't been doing their jobs, or so they claimed
Photos by Patrick Michels
Back in May, you may recall, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and commissioners John Wiley Price and Maurine Dickey went before the media to deeply, sincerely and profoundly apologize to all those citizens who may have been evicted without a heads-up in recent years. After a five-month internal audit, the county had discovered that some 25 deputy constables said they served papers when they in fact had not, which the county discovered with the assistance of GPS units in the deputies' rides. By early June, the county said it had fired some 28 deputy constables, without naming names.
But a filing at the Dallas County courthouse reveals one: Terry Braziel, who ran as a Democrat against incumbent Ben Adamcik for Precinct 3 constable just last year. The reason for the suit: The Texas Workforce Commission believes the county didn't have good reason to fire Braziel and signed off on his claim for unemployment compensation benefits.
The county insists that Braziel, for whom messages have been left, was fired for two reasons: "Global positioning records ... showed Braziel to be elsewhere at the same times that he swore to a justice of the peace court that he was serving process," and his daily reports revealed "he never went to the locations at the dates and times where he swore he was." And so he was terminated on June 3. At which point Braziel filed his comp claim at the TWC, which initially OK'd it since "it was determined Braziel's discharge was not for misconduct."
The county says it appealed to a TWC tribunal, which ruled to deny the payment. Braziel then kicked his claim further up the ladder, to the full commission, which concluded "that Dallas County's global positioning data was not accurate and that Braziel was acting as he was trained instructed," according to the county's own suit (and that is not a typo). The county believes that decision was "arbitrary and capricious"; hence, the lawsuit filed this week. It follows.
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