Former employees of Brazoria County have filed an EEOC lawsuit claiming that a former judge sexually harassed them and that the county ignored the presence of sexual harassment in the workplace.
The two women, previously employed in the county’s juvenile probation department, claim that Judge James Blackstock, who resigned last year over the scandal, has been harassing female county employees since 1993.
They also argue that the county failed to prevent future harassment after it was reported, and retaliated against those who opposed the conduct.
The workers claim that their conversations with Blackstock included lewd sexual jokes and innuendo, that he sent them pornographic e-mails and text messages, that he expressed a desire to engage in sexual conduct with them and that he touched them inappropriately.
According to the workers, the county officials who received their initial complaint failed to follow up with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. They say they were asked to write letters stating that they did not want to pursue harassment charges against the judge. When Blackstock heard about their complaint, they allege, he attempted to have them fired.
Eventually, the EEOC determined that the county had failed to protect employees from harassment.
The workers’ complaints led to a criminal case in which Blackstock entered a no-contest plea to misdemeanor charges, paid fines and resigned from the bench.