Friday, March 22, 2013
Terminated white TDCJ Parole Officer sues based on discrimination
Ellen Mae Burton of Galveston, who was terminated by the agency in March of 2012, recently filed suit against TDCJ stating that she was constructively terminated based upon her race, which is white. Burton Began working for the agency in 2004 and worked as a specialized officer overseeing sex offender cases. Burton came under fire from the TDCJ when she allowed a parolee to sign temporary custody of her child to a foster mother who had previously cared for the child. TDCJ claimed she interviewed the child, a minor, without representation. She denied wrongdoing and said she was acting in the best interest of the child.
Burton claims that black employees in the office regularly violated policy and were never disciplined in any way by there supervisor, who is black. Burton claims that other employees falsified time records, travel records and other documents and were not held accountable. In the lawsuit, it also states that the assistant regional director (parole) increased her case load, but did not give additional cases to her black co-worker and said an award she received for "Officer of the Year" was destroyed and given to another officer. Burton claims that she was often given extra duties to perform, which were not asked of her black co-workers.
In her suit Burton asks for $250,000 in damages.
The Backgate is in touch with Ms. Burton and will keep you updated on the progress of her case and any information surrounding it.