Bad Judge; Worse Security Guard
Last week The Insider reported on the job-hunting adventures of Stephen Mansfield, the former state Court of Criminal Appeals judge who had taken a job as a uniformed security guard at the Texas Medical Center. Unfortunately for Mansfield, it appears he was as ill-suited for his new vocation as he was for the state's highest criminal court.
According to our sources, Mansfield's gig with U.S. Security Associates, a subcontractor to the TMC for security services, came to an abrupt end last week when he was banned from Medical Center postings after an internal tiff with some colleagues. Mansfield, it seems, thought his credentials entitled him to a supervisor position with the agency. But after several days of field training, the jurist's watchman skills were deemed so poor that he was demoted to manning a kiosk at a Med Center parking lot at Braeswood and Greenbriar.
A U.S. Security watch commander, David Fitts, says he tried to train Mansfield for the job of monitoring fire and burglar alarms, but the 50-year-old performed "miserably." "He couldn't write a report properly," says Fitts. "He couldn't work a radio. He couldn't transmit, even though he was instructed several times."
About the only thing Mansfield seemed to show an enthusiasm for was talking about his beloved Corvette and politics. He reportedly bragged to assorted co-workers that when he was a judge he used to go on morning jogs in Austin with then-governor George W. Bush, who did go on to bigger things.
"He's a real strong Republican," says one employee, who was advised by Mansfield that "if you can't decide how to vote, vote Republican because you can't go wrong that way."
When Mansfield applied with the security agency last month, officials reacted enthusiastically, thinking they had stumbled onto an overqualified applicant. Mansfield explained he wanted a job close to his pharmacist wife, who works in a nearby hospital. He also warned that he might have to take off occasionally for visiting judgeship assignments in area courts.
According to Texas Commission on Private Security records, Mansfield received a preliminary certification as a noncommissioned security guard, which does not entitle him to carry a firearm.
But after a few weeks, a source with the security company says, an ambitious Mansfield called its corporate headquarters in Georgia to suggest that he be given a promotion. He complained about being demoted after flunking training and noted that some of his superiors didn't even have college degrees.
Eventually he was judged enough of a disruptive element that TMC staffers got his firm to pull him out. Mansfield is still technically on the U.S. Security guard list but, according to a source, has not called for an assignment recently.
What's next on the job list for the peripatetic former justice? Mansfield didn't respond to a request for an interview. But if your mall Santa starts bragging about jogging with George Bush, please contact The Insider immediately.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.