Fondled Women Sue Judge And Brazoria County Over Their Harassment
Thought you'd heard the last of James Blackstock, the former Brazoria County judge who resigned two years ago after admitting he repeatedly fondled numerous female county employees?
Well, think again. Thanks to a lawsuit filed Monday in Houston federal court by two of the women, Blackstock is back. But the lawsuit is not just aimed at the apparently horny former jurist. The two women, Diana Coates and Margo Green, both former heads of the Brazoria County Juvenile Probation Department, are also suing Brazoria County.
Coates and Green's claims against Blackstock are fairly straightforward. The lawsuit outlines a progression of inappropriate behavior, from sex jokes and pornographic text messages, e-mails and a video, to sexual overtures and the fondling of breasts. During one incident, Green claims, Blackstock sexually harassed her and apparently make a crude joke, saying that she needed "to give him advanced notice so he could take his 'little blue pill' because he was getting older."
Blackstock was eventually charged in criminal court, and at the end of the summer of 2008, he pleaded guilty to several misdemeanor charges, including official oppression and assault.
The two women are now suing him on the grounds of sexual harassment and assault. Phone calls to Blackstock's listed home number have gone unreturned.
The claims against Brazoria County are not quite so clear cut.
Coates and Green claim that seven women eventually filed complaints about Blackstock's harassment with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sided against the county. The women were then encouraged to enter into conciliation talks with the county as part of the EEOC enforcement decision.
As soon as the women asked for money, however, it was all over.
"The requests for compensation so angered the County's representatives that both Ms. Coates and Ms. Green became targets of retaliation," it says in the lawsuit.
Coates and Green claim that starting the very next day, county employees starting finding ways to discredit them.
Brazoria County "instituted a campaign of retaliation which included: hyper-scrutiny of the Juvenile Probation department and work performance of Coates and Green, accusations of poor work performance, threats of disciplinary action for poor work performance, and ultimately termination," Coates and Green claim in the lawsuit.
The two women are suing the county claiming a hostile work environment and violations of civil rights law, including the retaliation.
A Brazoria County spokeswoman tells Hair Balls that the county has not yet been served but will comment once attorneys have had the chance to review the allegations.
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