Michael DeMarquis worked for the Bexar County Office of the Constable for only five months, but between August and December 2009, he says he compiled an extensive list of illegal practices.
Now he’s suing the law enforcement agency, claiming he was fired from his job as a warrant clerk in retaliation after he uncovered:
- Evidence of criminal fraud and misappropriation of funds
- Several incidents of prisoner rights violations (including one in which a pregnant juvenile prisoner was allegedly verbally and physically assaulted while handcuffed and several incidents in which juvenile female prisoners were subjected to sexual harassment)
- A quota system in which traffic officers are disciplined unless they write a minimum of 20 traffic citations a day
- Mismanagement of the constable’s armory, resulting in several thousand rounds of police ammunition going missing.
DeMarquis also claimed he was offered promotions if he paid off superiors.
After bringing his allegations to higher-ups, DeMarquis said a supervisor threatened him and demanded that he drop his complaints. He also claimed he was subjected to verbal harassment and humiliation.
DeMarquis claimed that the retaliation included accusing him of violating prisoners’ rights, and that a police captain falsified documents filed with the district attorney’s office in an attempt to implicate him in prisoner abuse.
DeMarquis is suing under the Texas Whistleblower Act, accusing the county of retaliating against him, suspending him and later firing him.
- National-origin discrimination: What you need to know
- Organize your personnel files to minimize legal risk
- Mind your minutes: 5 minute-taking strategies, 3 do's and don'ts
- When computing employee pay, are we allowed to round off employee working hours?
- When employee sues, beware whistle-blower add-on that alleges violation of public policy