Judge dismisses Lubbock County retaliation claim - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/29/10

Judge dismisses Lubbock County retaliation claim

By James Clark | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Short of an appeal, former Lubbock County employee Elizabeth Overstreet's retaliation lawsuit is over.  Lubbock federal Judge Sam Cummings ruled Thursday that Overstreet should take nothing against the county and dismissed the case.

Overstreet claimed that she lost her job as retaliation for reporting sexual harassment by a bailiff in State District Judge Brad Underwood's court.  Overstreet was Underwood's court coordinator.  Underwood denied the allegations.  Overstreet sued Underwood in state court and Lubbock County in federal court.  Underwood prevailed in state court proceedings, claiming that Overstreet voluntarily gave up her job. 

In Judge Cummings written order he says, "It should be beyond dispute that the County has no obligation to continue paying a person as an employee when that person no longer works for the County."  Cummings goes on to say that Overstreet must be able to show the county's reason was a mere pretext, and her case didn't do that.

Judge Cummings also writes the county failed to transfer Overstreet to another job, "not in retaliation of Plaintiff's reporting a sexual harassment claim, but because there were no other openings."

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