Galveston Co. Focus of Harassment, Wrongful Firing Complaints

Some questionable workplace issues in the Galveston County District Clerk's office are getting a very public airing. Not only are allegations of sexual harassment reportedly being leveled against District Clerk Jason Murray, there are claims a woman who filed the complaint against Murray was the victim of wrongful termination in retaliation for her action.

The Galveston Daily News reports that it has confirmed that Murray faces accusations that he attempted to have a rendezvous with a female staffer during a business conference last summer in Austin. The paper also says that Tina Longcoy, who was Chief Executive Officer in the office at the time, reported that incident and others, and that she subsequently was fired from her post.

The Daily News goes on to report that a special prosecutor and outside investigator have been hired by the county, but District Attorney Jack Roady refuses to confirm that the two were hired in connection with the Murray case. Unattributed sources, however, are cited as saying that the case is the subject of a probe.

The allegations are the latest in a string of legal problems for Murray. He reportedly is already on probation for convictions related to hitting his wife and driving while under the influence of prescription medications.

Longcoy's claim is that she reported the alleged issues regarding harassment against Murray through appropriate county channels. She was fired shortly afterward and she says the official who handled her dismissal told her he had been ordered to take the action by Murray.

Her attorneys say that they've been informed that because the district clerk's office never adopted county human resources policies, Longcoy also was never granted a chance to file a grievance over her firing.

Source: The Daily News, "District clerk faces sexual harassment complaint," T.J. Aulds, April 15, 2012