/

DATE:"

TO!

Memorandum

CITY OF DALLAS

February I 1. 20 I 0

David K. Etheridge J;. ~ Director. Human Resources

SUBJECT: Allegations of Sexual Harassment

Human Resources completed the investigation into allegations of a hostile work environment. retaliation. and sexual harassment made by Municipal JUdg~

Background

On July 11. 2009. and August 19. 2009. Municipal Judger.. ilsent correspondence to Mr. Etheridge. Human Resources Director indicating that Judgn. Victor LaI1der. Administrative Municipal Judge. City of Dallas. created a hostile work environment based on her refusal of his alleged sexual advances which she further alleged resulted in his taking retaliatory actions against her (see attachment A).

Sgecific Allegations .. r._'L

Specifically. on July 11.2009. Judg'1..; ::rubmitted a letter to David Etheridge alleging that:

I) Judge Lander made a comment about Judge fi iih,.£stick color on October 30. 2009;

2) Judge Lander occasionally would inquire about JudgeS gMavericks basketball game

tickets; .

Judge Lander made a comment about the length of Judge[......ii\dress in early M .... ay 2009.;

Judge Lander made a comment about a bruise on Judge~g in late May 2009; ~.

Judge Lander retaliated against Judge1!! iib cessi~eJy documenting Judge!! iJ

actions such as issuing a memorandum to Ju~ IIfre arding arking in Uie wrong

parking space, and writing a memorandum regar g Juage entries on her time card; Judge Lander retaliated against Jud

Judge Lander retal iated against J

3) 4) .5)

6)

y disparately applying the leave policy; by allowing seniority to dictate

Human Resources initiated actions to contact Judge In mid to late October to interview her first regarding her allegations. Human Resources made several attempts to set up meetings with the complainant, Municipal Judge Eventually, meetings were held with the other two individuals she named in her allegations based on their availability. Appointments were scheduled with

llI- !!pn November 3, 2009; Judge Lander on November II, 2009; and with Judge

\!!9m November 13,2009.

Judge t with Stacy Young and Chris Salter from the City of Dallas,

Human Resources Department ISCUSS the allegations she made in writing concerning Judge Lander.

Judge ...... stated that during the early months of 2009, Judge Lander created a hostile work envirol~~nt ~ made several inappropriate comments to her. When asked to describe her work environment she stated "no one would talk to me." When asked why, she stated "so much stuff going on" and then went into detail about the incidents she stated in her letter to Human Resources dated July t 1, 2009 (see attachment B).

In the interview with Judge -- she state H .. that 1'_ ge Lander came into her office and inquired

about going to a Maverick g~her. Judg . lieges said, "I really want

to go with you" and licked hislips "like asking her for a ale." J . ted that she never gave

tickets to anyone other than a clerk or a janitor. According to Judge were no witnesses to

this incident.

In the Judge .... statement dated July 11,2009 she alleged that in late May of 2009, Judge Lander

made a com~ ise her leg and a reference to her involvement in kinky sex. During the

J 1/13/09 interview Ju ndicated to Stacy Young and Chris that she had a bruise on the

lower part of her leg. who witnessed the incident, Ju that there was a

witness but refused to give the name of the person.

Judge added one additional incident that she alleged occurred on or about August 5, 2009,

where confronted her in a hostile manner about signing warrants for a Code Inspector.

Judge said J Lander asked her why she signed the warrants when they were disapproved

by another Judge id she inquired, "How was I to that?" Judge Lander

said it should have been on the document (see Judge dated 19,

2009). According to J is incident was triggered by

Judge that she went to Judge Lander's to find out was

that if there is any marking from Judge Chavez." Ms.

in the office. "Why didn't you accuse th~~eT' At

point, according to Judge something to udge~ replied

"whatever", According to Judge ied that is why you stay in

trouble" and "I'll take you down' threatening

She called Keith Gary, Human Resources Generali to leave a She went to

spoke with the receptionist/office assistant to let them see how upset she was. When he told her [harf! jhad filed a complaint against her for carrying a

made an inappropriate comment about her

lipstick. Judge stated she was in her office signing search and arrest warrants when Judge

Landerwalked 10 and stated "I love the color of your lipstick. You have to tell women those

stated that there was a police officer present when the comme t was made and that she

pull the warrants and provide us the name of [he police officer. Judge did not provide

Human a name.

2

Judge complaint regarding the parking spaces was whether parking spots are as~

sernonty. Lander decided that assigning them by court number would be better. Judge~

stated that they may have changed the parking while she was out on FMLA. She did not want to park in spot #2 because it is in between two cars. She wanted to park in a spot that did not have someone on either side of her- a spot by a column. Judge ~parked in the wrong spot one day. According to Judge E.? !lit was just a mix up and she ~ a mistake. Judge Lander made a bailiff come to her courtroom and get her off the bench to move her car, JUdg~.e . staled that she then received a

2 page memo about the incident from Judge Lander. Judge ~failed to provide copies of the memo when requested by Human Resources.

Judge rw-. brought up the concern that she is required to request leave any time she is away from the of~e other judges are not required to do this. She did not provide any specific incidents or documentation to support this claim.

When asked to give examples of retaliation by Judge Lander. Judge E ~referenced her dockets by stating at one point she had complained to Judge Lander about her wor~d being too heavy in the magistrate court. She alleged that Judge Lander told her that it could improve if "she wore her hair down and shorter skirts".

In the interview with Judgel oncerning the retaliatory actions cited in the July 17, 2009 letter to Human Resources. she discussed memoranda that presented her in a negative light, but she did not have any copies of the letters to show. The interview ended with a mutual agreement that Human Resources would provide Judge ~ith a written transcript of the interview in which she would review. provide any supporting documents to her statements and return a signed copy of the interview by November 20d! as she was going to be out on vacation November 23 - 27. After numerous phone calls and emails back and forth requesting her written statement. she was given a final deadline of December 18, 2009 or else we would draft the report without her statement..

On the afternoon of December 18, 2009. JUdge~sent a packet to the Investigators at Human Resources that contained a cover letter and copy ~ge of Discri~he filed with the Texas Workforce Commission on Civil Rights Division (TWCCRD). Judge~provided no additional documents. As of this writing. the City has yet to receive the official charge from the TWCCRD (see attachment E).

Summary of Judge Victor Landers' Verbal and Written Statement

On November 11, 2009, Judge Lander met with Stacy Young Analysts, to discuss the allegations made against a sexual advances towards her _.... During the interview Judge Lander made it clear that he felt Judge~!!lIIlIIiiii

Senior Human Resources Lander denies that

stared

from several attorneys and other Judge Lander

n the discussion of J

3

"

When Judge Lander was asked if he made a comment about Judge ~Iipstick. Judge Lander stated that he does not recall the incident in question at all. He may ~~ someone that men are supposed to compliment women but did not say it directly to Judge En !JJudge Lander said of the other incidents mentioned he cannot recall any witnesses who heard him say anything inappropriate. Judge Lander's answers. comments, and initials of verification can be read on the questionnaire entitled Interview Questions Judge Victor Lander dated November II, 2009(See attachment C).

Judge Lander did not recall the argument between JudgeU ill nd Ms that allegedly

produced the "cat fight" comment. He di recal incident regarding the signing of the warrant for the

code inspector. He did not recall J rning to his office to discuss the incident further but

t ted that she could have. Judge Lander the relationship between Ms .

••••• ·.....,as very tense - "when J ks in it that

ich Judge IS going to be there - the nice or Judge 111 •••

attitudes from anyone." Judge Lander reported that their relation 2009.

The interview ended with a mutual agreement that Human Resources would provide Judge Lander with a written transcript of the interview in which he would review, provide any supporting documents to his statements and return a signed copy of the interview. Judge Lander did return his signed statement within the agreed upon tirneframe.

On November 3, with Stacy Young and Chris Salter to discuss the allegations

made by Judge Stac Victor Lander in which Ms.~was named as a

witness to one of the Mrs asked if she could type out her answers and we

would discuss her answers after she completed the questions (see attachment D). Mrs.tiL Q stated that she was in the room when the discussion between JUdg_, and Judge Lander concerning Judge Et !j.vearing a dress the same length as hers. Mrs. said that Judge~nitiated the conversation about her own dress length. not Judge Lander and t at Judge Lander a~omment "Judge, you can wear whatever length dress you want".

The allegation concerning Judge ~signing the Code Inspector's Warrants according to Mrs. h a was not directed at ~r, it was to stop an unauthorized practice of forum shopping.

\.fi;is is a pracirce where if an inspector cannot find one judge " off on a

warrant the inspector looks for another judge who will. Mrs. that she informed

Jud e Lander of the situat and t Judge Lander

rt •••• !!iJsaid Judge became upset which led to an

and Judge Lander. Ms. that J

discussion about warran

understand that this is nOI about . Stop lI1g things nP,'",..,.",

ned to talk in a loud voice and balled her 1 udge Lander tried to get MSe ••••••

•• ~ould not stop talking. As e sai If you want a cal fight you're going

others. will you a cat fight"

, iving and/or selling tickets to within the

and been given tickets by Judge she and

isted several ot le in her November 3, 2009 statement to

given or sold tickets. Mrs. not mention in her statement Judge

ing any tickets from J

4

The preponderance of the evidence gathered during the investigation could not prove~er created a hostile work environment or made inappropriate sexual advances toward Judge ~lhe preponderance of evid~red during the investigation could not prove that Judge Lander retaliated against Judge ~

17]. I-:-- L f Ilfi, €I-

~~erSa~'~

Senior Human Resources Analyst Human Resources Department

c. Molly McCall. Assistant Director of Human Resources Vanessa A. Gray. Human Resources Manager Investigation File

'Dallas, the

that Works: Diverse, Vibrant and PrOQressive'

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