Janet Cox Worked For A Judge, Until She Supported His Electoral Opponent

Campaigning against your boss?
Most people who don't like their boss are able to keep it to themselves, silently wishing plagues upon him or her, or maybe venting to a trusted co-worker. But Janet Cox says she was fired from her job as a Brazoria County court coordinator when she supported the opponent of the judge she worked for.

In a suit filed Wednesday in Galveston federal court, Cox claims that Brazoria County Court Judge Jeremy Warren asked her and a co-worker to "participate in [Warren's] online Facebook campaign," last December. "They refused and did not jump on the bandwagon to support his candidacy." (Warren, a Republican, is a former prosecutor and Angleton City Councilman).

This allegedly prompted then-Brazoria County Human Resources Director Jim McCoy to call Cox into a meeting, where McCoy allegedly told her to "be faithful to the judge." He also admonished Cox that she had to "be faithful and loyal to the person you work for, or it's insubordination."

Apparently unable to take a hint, "Cox became disenchanted with Defendant Warren's approach to her and his campaign," so she started supporting Warren's opponent, Jerome Aldrich, the suit states. (Cox also claims that Warren's wife had been talking smack about her and her co-worker, saying they were "vindictive ladies out to get [Judge Warren].")

Then in early March, Cox and her co-worker "were summoned to a meeting with Defendant Warren and Mr. McCoy, wherein they were terminated." (Both women had worked for the county for more than 15 years).

According to the suit, Warren "encouraged other judges and courts not to hire [Cox] because of her political affiliation, and also because she asserted retaliation claims against him."

Moreover, Cox claims, Warren "acted intentionally to control [her] political patronage, discredit her by damaging her reputation, punish her for exercising her right to free speech, and for pursuing these claims." She's suing for lost wages and promotional opportunities, mental anguish, damage to her reputation, and pain and suffering, among other things.

Warren told Hair Balls he could not comment on pending litigation.

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Contributor Craig Malisow covers crooks, quacks, animal abusers, elected officials, and other assorted people for the Houston Press.
Contact: Craig Malisow