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Higgins Suit

Higgins Suit

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§ § § § FRANK J. WILSON, and § HOUSTON METROPOLITAN TRANSIT § AUTHORITY ("METRO") § §

PAULINE HIGGINS, Plaintiff,

vs.

HARRIS COUNTY, T E X A S

Defendants.

JUDICIAL DISTRICT

PLAINTIFF'S ORIGINAL PETITION

TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT:

COMES NOW Plaintiff Pauline Higgins, and files this Original Petition

complaining of Defendants Frank J. Wilson and Houston Metropolitan Transit

Authority ("METRO"), and for her causes of action respectfully shows the Court and

Jury as follows:

I. DISCOVERY PLAN

1. This case should be governed by Level 3 discovery under TEX. R. ClV. P.

190.4.

II. PARTIES

2. Plaintiff Pauline Higgins is an individual residing in Harris County,

Texas.

3. Defendant Frank J. Wilson ("Wilson") is an individual residing in

Harris County, Texas. He may be served with process by personal delivery or by

certified mail addressed at his place of business as follows: Frank J. Wilson,

President and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris

County, Texas, 1900 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002 or his residence, 4210 Stonebridge Drive, Missouri City, Texas 77459.

4. Defendant Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County,

Texas ("METRO" or "Authority") is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, with its principal place of business in Harris County, Texas. It may be served with process by service on its President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Frank J. Wilson, at Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, METRO Administration Building, 1900 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002.

III. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

5. This Court has jurisdiction to hear this cause because the value of the

damages sought are in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of the Court. TEXAS CONST. art. 5, § 8; TEXAS GOV'T CODE § 24.007.

6. Venue is proper in Harris County because it is the county where a

substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred. TEX. Crv. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. § 15.002(a)(1); TEX. GOVT. CODE § 554.007. Venue is also independently proper in Harris County because it IS the county of Wilson's residence and Metro's principal office in Texas. TEX. Crv. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. § 15.002(a)(2) & (3).

IV. FACTS

7. This case involves cut-throat politics and cronyism at METRO, the

Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority. Less than two years ago, METRO hired Pauline Higgins as its general counsel, ostensibly to clean up the METRO

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legal department and help it function more like a business. Despite this goal, METRO's President and CEO, Defendant Frank J. Wilson, along with various cohorts and cronies, including the attorney whom Higgins replaced, Paula Alexander, resisted and undermined many of Higgins' efforts. Wilson himself rejected the document retention policy that Higgins designed to bring METRO into compliance with state law. Wilson asked Alexander to handle document requests, despite the fact that METRO had been breaking state law under Alexander's previous tenure as general counsel.

8. Wilson obtains, at taxpayer expense, the loyalty of a few fellow

employees, so that he may circumvent checks and balances regarding engineering contracts and other practices. For example, he subtly secured for his Chief of Staff, Joanne Wright, and his Chief Financial Officer, Louise Richman, five additional years of credited service for pension purposes. Those who resist Wilson's maneuvers and insist on proper procedures and compliance with the law suffer retaliation.

9. Higgins complained about METRO's practices and about Wilson and

Alexander in particular to Houston's mayor, the Honorable Annise Parker. METRO fired Higgins because of these complaints that METRO was not complying with state law. After METRO fired Higgins, Wilson and METRO Board Chairman David Wolff defamed her by convening press conferences and giving the Houston Chronicle editorial board questionable documents from an alleged "investigation"

into Higgins' management practices.

Wilson's and Wolffs statements and

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disclosures harmed Higgins and damaged her professional reputation. Higgins accordingly brings this lawsuit to vindicate her rights and clear her name.

A. Higgins Leaves Law Partnership to Join METRO.

10. Higgins joined METRO on August 16, 2008, as Senior Vice President,

General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary. In order to accept this position, Higgins left private practice as Senior Partner and Chief Diversity Officer with the law firm of Thompson & Knight, LLP. Higgins' mandate from Wilson was to re-organize the METRO legal department and the Office of General Counsel ("OGC).

11. Prior to her arrival, under the leadership of Paula Alexander as

general counsel, METRO's legal department was disorganized and dysfunctional. Higgins understood that employees often came to work and left at their leisure. In addition, Alexander had not assigned attorneys to specialties or particular business lines. At best, the legal department's disorganization under Alexander's leadership was inefficient and prevented development of institutional knowledge by practice area and specialty.

12. In addition, under Alexander's leadership, METRO was not in

compliance with state law with respect to matters such as document retention. METRO did not, under Alexander's leadership, have a formal document retention policy, much less a Records Management Program or Records Management Officer to insure compliance with the "records retention schedule" issued by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. TEX. LOCAL GOVT. CODE § 203.026 & §

203.042.

To the contrary, METRO apparently treated document retention

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haphazardly, with destruction or retention occurring on an ad hoc basis, to the extent that METRO addressed retention at all.

13. Unbeknownst to Higgins, Alexander, the general counsel whom she

was replacing, would not actually be leaving METRO. Instead, Alexander was moved to the position of Vice President of Corporate Development, and remained a part of Wilson's Executive Management Team ("EMT"). Alexander made no secret of her dislike of Higgins. It also soon became clear that Alexander resented being moved and wanted her former job back.

B. Higgins Restructures OGC's Legal Department.

14. Though aware of her mandate, Higgins was sensitive to the concerns of

the employees she would be managing. She advised them that everyone started with a "blank page" with her, and that her impression of each employee would be based on the skills and performance that she observed during her first six months on the job, even though Wilson had given Higgins permission to make personnel changes in any of the departments she supervised.

15. Higgins discussed concerns that she had regarding particular

employees and employee performance with Helen Cavazos, METRO's Vice President of Human Resources, among others. Although Cavazos often agreed with Higgins' concerns, Cavazos apparently believed that Higgins' standards were too high because she was dealing with "government employees," whom Cavazos maintained had never been properly trained by Higgins' predecessor, Alexander.

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16. At the end of the six-month time frame, Higgins recommended reassignment of only one METRO employee who had been working at the time of her arrival, Deputy General Counsel Alva Trevino. Higgins replaced Trevino with another attorney, Jakki Hansen, who had been well-regarded throughout METRO.

17. Higgins also restructured the legal department along specialty and

business organization lines. She assigned each business client a specific attorney and paralegal to utilize on an ongoing basis. Her primary goal, and indeed, what she understood as her mandate, was to build efficiencies similar to those found in specialized corporate legal departments.

18. Although many of Higgins' management decisions have been criticized

SInce her discharge, it is perfectly clear that METRO initially approved of the changes that she made. In Fall 2009, for METRO's fiscal year of 2008-2009, METRO awarded Higgins the maximum merit and performance bonus, confirming its assessment that she had been a strong performer during her first year on the job.

C. Higgins Works with Auditors to Insure Compliance.

19. The breadth of METRO's problems became apparent to Higgins shortly

after her arrival because METRO was then undergoing an extensive audit by the State of Texas, which had been ongoing for nearly a year. It was necessary for Higgins to immediately address some of the matters that the State's auditors had raised, in order to meet the January 2009 deadline for reporting to them.

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20. For example, the auditors had raised concerns about the manner III

which METRO dealt with Third-Party Contractors, including statutory violations such as hiring Third-Party Contractors without written contracts and permitting continued work under expired contracts, and the absence of a written policy to govern Third-Party Contracts.

21. Higgins created METRO's first policy for dealing with Third-Party

Contractors, entitled "Third-Party Contracts for Legal Services Guidelines and Procedures," in order to address these and other concerns. Although METRO provided this document to the auditors when seeking a compliance finding, in several instances, METRO has since failed to adhere to third -party contracting guidelines.

D. Higgins Addresses Document Management & Retention.

22. Higgins also created a document retention policy that was necessary

for METRO to comply with document retention requirements that apply to localities and authorities such as METRO under Texas law. See TEX. LOCAL GOVT. CODE § 201.002 (recognizing that "the establishment of uniform standards and procedures for the maintenance, preservation, microfilming, or other disposition of local government records is necessary to fulfill ... important public purposes").

23. Texas law requires state-created Authorities such as METRO to

institute Record Management Programs that provide, at a minimum, for preservation of records in accordance with the "records retention schedule" issued by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. TEX. LOCAL GOVT. CODE §

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203.026(a) & § 203.042. Although such a policy was clearly required by law, as noted, METRO did not have a formal document retention policy in place before Higgins arrived.

24. Higgins began addressing document retention issues after addressing

a series of open records requests and learning that METRO lacked any formal document management or retention policy. Higgins met immediate resistance from Wilson on this issue, because Wilson opposed retaining documents so that he would not have to respond to open records requests.

25. Wilson proposed addressing records retention with a policy providing

for limited email storage, combined with the automatic deletion of email. In July 2009, Wilson's Vice President of Information Technology, Erik Oistad, announced Wilson's plan for "30 day deletion." This plan would rely on the diligence of individual users to place email that needed to be retained in one of twelve managed folders. All emails that were not placed in folders would be deleted. Oistad stated in an email: "On August 8th, IT will set the system to delete all email older than 30 days, this includes your inbox and sent mail." If a user wanted to, he or she could permanently delete any email - without any oversight - simply by placing the objectionable email in the "deleted items" folder: "Also on August 8th, the Deleted items folder will be automatically cleaned out daily."

26. Although Higgins was not included on this correspondence, once she

learned of it, she informed both Wilson and Oistad that the proposed practice was illegal and that METRO could not engage in it. Section 202.008 of the Local

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Government Code provides that knowingly destroying a government record is a

violation of the law. Comments to Title 13, Section 7.125 of the Administrative

Code (establishing authority for mandatory records retention) expresses the

illegality of record destruction in even clearer terms:

Destruction of local government records contrary to the provisions of the Local Government Records Act of 1989 and administrative rules adopted under its authority, including this schedule, is a Class A misdemeanor and, under certain circumstances, a third degree felony (Penal Code, Section 37.10). Anyone destroying local government records without legal authorization may also be subject to criminal penalties and fines under the Open Records Act (Government Code, Chapter 552).

By refusing to let METRO, and individual employees at METRO, engage in

unsupervised record destruction, Higgins was preventing criminal activity and

protecting both METRO and individuals from potential civil and criminal liability.

27. Wilson apparently did not share this view, however, and opposed

Higgins' objections and her efforts to institute a legitimate records retention policy

that complied with state law. Among other things, Wilson avoided meeting with

Higgins to address the records retention and email destruction issue, and his

executive assistant initially refused to even put Higgins on Wilson's schedule.

28. When Higgins eventually obtained a meeting with Wilson in November

2009, she prepared a formal document explaining her opposition to Wilson's

proposed policy in precisely these terms: "The approach that you requested was not

legal and in the end I was protecting you and the Authority .... If we had destroyed

the emails as requested, it would have been unethical, illegal, and 'we would have

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been 'raw meat' for attack by any person with an agenda. The decision that I made and the advice that I gave to Erik was in the best interest of you, the Authority, the Board, and the staff."

29. Despite Wilson's opposition, Higgins went forward with the

preparation of the document retention policy. Because Wilson refused to review or approve the policy, Higgins continued to try to get the policy before the Board for approval. She circulated the policy as an "Executive Decision Document" in January 2010, and again in February 2010. At a meeting on January 29, 2010, Wilson stated unequivocally that he would not take the document retention policy to METRO's Board. While Wilson would not work with her, Higgins continued her work and efforts with other members of the Executive Management Team. As of February 2010, most METRO executives had approved the policy and so indicated their approval by initialing the Executive Decision Document on February 5,2010.

E. Wilson Assigns to Alexander Legal Projects that Implicate Him.

30. Wilson began removing legal duties from Higgins and assigning them

to her predecessor, Alexander. Alexander was at this time not functioning as an attorney, but was working in METRO's corporate development department. Wilson nevertheless had her handle certain legal matters.

Wilson's Employment Contract

31. When Higgins raised the Issue of Wilson's employment contract a

second time, because the Houston Chronicle had requested a copy, Wilson informed her that the Chairman of METRO's Board was handling the matter. Higgins had

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raised questions about Wilson's employment contract in the first instance because it was a Board matter over which she had responsibility. Wilson had expressed immediate displeasure at her inquiry.

32. In fact, Higgins later learned that Wilson had Alexander work with

outside counsel to address issues relating to his contract. This assignment of work to Alexander, not at that time functioning as an attorney within METRO's legal department, was highly questionable. Alexander handled the issues under Wilson's contract despite the fact that she was apparently advised by outside counsel that doing so without informing Higgins was inappropriate. A copy of Wilson's contract was not then sent to the legal department for safe-keeping, as was customary with other documents that are addressed in METRO's Board Minutes.

Lloyd Kelley's Open Records Request for Wilson

33. Wilson also assigned another sensitive matter to Alexander: the

handling of open records requests under the Texas Public Information Act. Specifically, Wilson requested that Alexander handle Lloyd Kelley's January 27, 2010, open records request seeking, among other things, information shared between Wilson and Joanne Wright, Wilson's Chief of Staff. The request sought matters such as all email correspondence and travel expenses. By reassigning this matter to Alexander, Wilson insured that Alexander (and not Higgins) would review METRO's documents to determine what METRO was required to produce in response to the request.

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34. Historically, METRO's legal department had always handled these

requests. During Higgins' tenure, Higgins herself approved most responses before sending them out. However, beginning with Kelley's January 27, 2010 request, Wilson moved the function of responding to open records requests away from Higgins, to Alexander. Notably, after METRO terminated Higgins, Wilson returned the open records function to METRO's legal department, then being headed by the newly reappointed Alexander.

35. Wilson's choice of Alexander to handle Kelley's open records request is difficult to understand, because as METRO's previous general counsel, Alexander had never developed the Record Management Program that Texas law required. In fact, review of correspondence shows that, whatever Alexander's role at METRO, Wilson himself was handling this particular open records request. Wilson directly corresponded with the requesting party (Kelley) concerning the request that pertained to Wilson. In contrast, Higgins referred an open records act request on herself to outside counsel, requesting that another attorney at METRO be the contact for that request, in order to avoid an inherent or apparent conflict of interest.

36. Kelley's open records request is now the subject of litigation alleging

improper document destruction, Cause No. 2010-11963, Lloyd Kelley v. Frank J l1Tjlson, et ai., in the 61st Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. This lawsuit was filed on February 24, 2010, the day after METRO terminated Higgins. Higgins will undoubtedly be a witness in this lawsuit. She has been subpoenaed to

12

offer testimony, both during discovery and at the hearing on the temporary injunction, and she has made herself available to testify. After hearing on March 5, 2010, the court entered a temporary injunction that, among other things, expressly prohibits any further document destruction.

F. Higgins Complains and METRO Terminates Her.

37. Kelley's lawsuit had not, however, been filed as of the third week in

February. By this time, Higgins was prepared to present the records retention policy to the Board, since she had received the number of signatures required on the Executive Decision Document that would allow the policy to be placed on the Board agenda. Higgins was informed that she could not present the retention policy to the Board at its February 17, 2010 meeting because Wilson had not approved placing the item on the agenda.

38. Because of Wilson's repeated refusals to address document retention or

present the policy to the Board, and because he and Alexander were personally handling Kelley's document request outside of METRO's legal department, Higgins feared document destruction.

39. H,ggins accordingly reported her belief that METRO records had been

and would continue to be destroyed to the Mayor. Higgins met with Mayor Annise Parker and her Deputy Chief of Staff, Adam L. Harris, on February 21, 2010. Among other things, Higgins expressly complained about METRO's illegal document destruction. Higgins discussed Wilson's antagonism to open records requests, his demand that email be deleted as a matter of course, and the fact that

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Wilson had begun to marginalize her and remove some of her duties after she refused to cooperate in the deletion of email that he had requested.

40. Two days later, on February 23, 2010, METRO discharged Higgins.

Wilson gave Higgins a letter to confirm that her "employment is terminated effective February 23, 2010" and offering to re-classify the "termination" as a "resignation" if Higgins agreed to sign a release prepared by METRO.

41. On the morning of Higgins' termination, records personnel informed

her that they had been instructed to shred 16 or 17 boxes of documents. Higgins refused to permit them to destroy the documents, and stated that METRO would not be destroying any documents until METRO had or obtained an approved policy from the State of Texas governing document retention and destruction.

42. Wilson has obtained, at taxpayer expense, the loyalty of a few

employees that allow him to circumvent checks and balances regarding engineering contracts and other practices. For example, Wilson has subtly secured five additional years of credited service for pension purposes for both JoAnne Wright and for his Chief Financial Officer, Louise Richmond. Employees who resist Wilson's maneuvers and insist on proper procedures and compliance with the law suffer retaliation. Higgins is not the only METRO employee that Wilson has taken action against for improper reasons. Four of the longest tenured employees in METRO Solutions - who had the most knowledge of METRO's engineering contracts - have suffered a similar fate. A number of those employees, including Bryan Pennington, Jim Cody, and Navin Sagar, had raised concerns regarding

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practices or events within METRO Solutions that METRO did not want disclosed to the public. In retaliation, METRO terminated or constructively demoted them.

G. Wilson Defames Higgins with False Statements to Media.

43. Wilson apparently decided that the best defense is a good offense, and

began to attack Higgins personally and to publicly criticize her professionalism and performance at METRO, which were not then and had not before that point been subjects of public debate.

The Press Conferences

44. On February 23, 2010, Wilson held a press conference. At the press

conference, though Wilson ostensibly refused to discuss "personnel matters," he did state that he had confirmed that METRO's legal department had destroyed documents and that two attorneys in the legal department had been discharged. He personally denied that he had ever ordered document destruction. Wolff held a similar press conference on February 24,2010. Alexander also communicated to the media, stating that one of the attorneys terminated, whom she declined to identify, was the person who had admitted shredding documents.

45. The clear innuendo and implication of the statements to the press was

that the METRO attorneys, including Higgins, had been discharged for either the destruction of documents or for their role in document destruction.

46. This is not true, and Wilson knew it was not true at the time that he

made the statements. Wilson had in fact circulated a memorandum to his staff on February 24, 2010, expressly stating that Higgins was not involved in any

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document destruction. Neither Wilson nor Wolff shared this memorandum or the information contained therein publicly. Instead they left an open question as to whether Higgins had been shredding documents, had approved the shredding of documents, or had been terminated for some role in document destruction.

47. In fact, contrary to the impression created by the press conferences, no

original uncopied or unpreserved documents had been shredded at that time.

Making Higgins' Personnel File Public

48. On or about March 5, 2010, Wilson and Wolff made further untrue

statements and provided additional untrue information to the media. A March 7, 2010 Houston Chronicle blog by Rick Casey describes the "media blitz that included an extraordinary meeting Friday [March 5] with the Houston Chronicle's editorial board."

49. Wilson and Wolff made several untrue factual statements regarding

Higgins during or surrounding this meeting. Such statements included statements that either expressly or by implication or innuendo harmed Higgins' professional reputation, claiming that: (1) Higgins failed to timely provide a document retention policy in response to METRO's request; and (2) Higgins failed to provide a document retention policy that was sufficient to take to METRO's Board. These statements were not true, and Wilson and Wolff knew they were not true at the time they were made.

50. Wilson made further untrue factual statements, unrelated to document

retention, that: (1) Higgins bullied several people; (2) Higgins treated people so that

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"they had feelings of zero worth;" (3) that METRO had offered Higgins professional management assistance, but that she had declined it; and (4) that METRO fired Higgins for being a horrible manager.

51. Wilson and Wolff also released a press packet including portions of

Higgins' personnel file and a "thick report," which purports to be a human resources "investigation" of Higgins that is dated December 4, 2009. This press packet contains several untrue statements of fact, including the factual claims in the investigation report itself that: (1) "Each one" of Higgins' "past and present employees" "had a story of how [Higgins] demoralized, degraded, threatened and intimidated them." (2) "They all gave examples of emails, telephone recordings, and text messages of her cruelty." (3) "They cried as they spoke of the horror they claimed to have endured under her administration." (4) "Pauline does not tell the truth." (5) Higgins has "scarred many employees." The interview memoranda also contain several factual statements that are not true, but that were published and released to the media anyway.

v. CAUSES OF ACTION

A. Defamation

52. All previous allegations are incorporated herein by reference.

53. Higgins is not a "public official" or a "public figure" as those terms are defined under Texas law. Rather, Higgins is or was a private figure. Pleading solely in the alternative, if the court determines that Higgins is a public figure, then she is a limited purpose public figure or an involuntary public figure.

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54. By implication and innuendo, Wilson made and published oral, untrue

statements of fact about Higgins as detailed in Paragraphs 43-51.

55. Wilson also made and published express oral statements of fact about

Higgins that were not true as detailed in Paragraphs 43-51 above. These statements were defamatory per se, because they injured Higgins in her office, profession, or occupation.

56. Wilson also published written statements of fact about Higgins that

were not true by providing copies of METRO's "investigation" report and the underlying "interviews" to the media as detailed above. These statements were defamatory per se under both TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 73.001 and the Texas common law, because among other things these statements impeached Higgins' honesty or reputation, or injured Higgins' reputation in a manner that exposed her to public hatred, ridicule, or financial injury.

57. Wilson knew that these statements were not true at the time they

were made or provided, or was reckless with respect to the truth or falsity of these statements when making or providing them.

58. Pleading solely in the alternative if the court determines such proof is

necessary, Wilson made the statements with actual malice.

59. Wilson made or published the statements with the intent to harm

Higgins, and with knowledge that Higgins' reputation would be harmed.

60. Pleading only to the extent that such proof is necessary, these

statements have caused Higgins to suffer harm, including harm to her character

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and business reputation, mental anguish and distress. Higgins has also suffered special damages arising from these statements in the form of loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and loss of employment.

61. Wilson acted outside the scope of his authority as a METRO employee

in publishing these statements.

62. Wilson did not act in good faith as a reasonable official in his position

would have acted in publishing these statements. Rather, Wilson acted with malice, with the intent and purpose to cause harm to the professional and personal reputation of Higgins.

63. This claim for defamation is asserted solely against Wilson acting as

an individual outside of the scope of his official capacities, and not against METRO itself. TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 101.057.

B. Texas Whistleblower Act

64. All previous allegations are incorporated herein by reference.

65. Higgins is a public employee as that term is defined by TEX. GOVT.

CODE § 554.001(4).

66. Higgins made a good faith report that METRO, and specifically, that

Wilson as METRO's Chief Executive Officer, were violating Texas law by the destruction of documents and the refusal to implement a record retention policy.

67. Higgins made her report to Houston's mayor, whom she believed in

good faith was an appropriate law enforcement authority with the power to take some remedial action with respect to her complaint. Prior to that, she had

19

complained of METRO's illegal activity to Wilson himself, who as the Chief Executive officer of METRO, was also someone Higgins had believed to be an appropriate law enforcement authority.

68. METRO terminated and took adverse personnel actions against

Higgins for making the report.

69. Higgins has suffered harm thereby, including past lost wages and

benefits, future lost earnings, future lost earning capacity, and emotional pain and mental anguish. Higgins also seeks reinstatement or front pay in lieu of reinstatement, in addition to prejudgment interest, court costs, and attorneys' fees. See TEX. GOVT. CODE § 554.003 et seq.

70. METRO does not have a grievance procedure that governs Higgins'

claim.

71. All conditions precedent to the filing of this Original Petition and the

assertion of the claims set forth herein have occurred or have been performed by Higgins or have been waived or excused by Defendants.

VI. RELIEF REQUESTED

72. All previous allegations are incorporated by reference.

73. Higgins seeks to recover all actual damages, incidental damages, and special damages allowed by law, as set forth above.

74. Higgins is also entitled to reinstatement and to recover attorneys' fees

under the Texas Whistleblower Act. TEX. GOVT. CODE §§ 554.003(a)(4), 554.002 et

seq.

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76. Higgins is also is entitled to recover exemplary damages from

Defendant Wilson because Wilson acted with malice against Higgins. TEX. CIV. PRAC & REM. CODE §§ 41.003 & 41.001(7). Any such award of exemplary damages is not limited by Section § 41.008(b). TEX. CIV. PRAC & REM. CODE § 41.008(c).

76. Higgins also seeks to recover prejudgment and post-judgment interest

on all damages as may be permitted by law.

77. Higgins also respectfully requests that the Court award her taxable

costs of court.

VII. REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE

78. Pursuant to Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 194, Defendants are

requested to disclose, within 60 days of service of this request, the information or material described in Rule 194.2(a)-(k).

VIII. JURY DEMAND

79. Pursuant to TEX. R. CIV. P. 216, Higgins makes this written request for

trial by jury of all issues so triable, and has tendered the required jury fee.

IX. PRAYER

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiff Pauline Higgins prays that Defendants Frank J. Wilson and the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority be cited to appear and answer; and that upon trial, the Court grant Higgins actual damages, special damages, exemplary damages, all costs allowable by law, costs of court, prejudgment and post judgment interest, and such other and further relief to which Higgins may show herself to be justly entitled.

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Respectfully submitted,

RUSTY HARDIN & ASSOCIATES, P.C.

State Bar No.: 08972800

1401 McKinney Street, Suite 2250 5 Houston Center

Houston, Texas 77010

Telephone: (713) 652-9000 Telecopier: (713) 652-9800

AHMAD, ZAVITSANOS & ANAIPAKOS, P.C. Joseph Y. Ahmad

State Bar No.: 00941100

1221 McKinney Street, Suite 3460 Houston, Texas 77010-2009 Telephone: (713) 655-1101 Tclecopier: (713) 655-0062

OF COUNSEL:

Ahmad, Zavitsanos & Anaipakos, P.C. 1221 McKinney Street, Suite 3460 Houston, Texas 77010-2009 Telephone: (713) 655-1101 Tclecopior: (713) 655-0062

ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF

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