FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 25, 2013

In April 2012, the Tarrant County Human Resources Department was notified by the District Attorney of a complaint of sexual harassment made by an assistant district attorney. The DA’s Office requested that the HR Dept conduct an investigation concerning that complaint. Through the initial interviews of the claimant, the County determined that it would engage an outside legal firm to provide counsel to the Commissioners Court. Additionally, in order to ensure complete independence in investigating the complaint, the Court authorized the engagement of an outside human resources firm to conduct an investigation in conjunction with our outside counsel. At the conclusion of the investigation, outside counsel and County staff entered into mediation with the complainant in order to resolve the issue. At the conclusion of that mediation, and upon advice of outside counsel, the Commissioners Court determined that it was in the best interests of Tarrant County taxpayers to settle the issue. This was based upon the conclusion that the cost of litigation would far exceed the cost of a proposed settlement. Under state law, once a settlement has been reached, the Commissioners Court must approve any payments relating to the settlement. Because the case involved a sexual harassment claim and the parties affected by the investigation are entitled, by law, to a certain level of privacy protection, the Commissioners Court asked the Texas Attorney General’s Office to provide guidance concerning what information must be released to the public and what must not be released. The Commissioners Court, through its outside counsel, has now received that guidance from the Attorney General’s Office and intends to follow it. Today, it has directed its outside counsel to release the documents that the AG has determined must be released and to make them available to the public.
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