Former LISD officer files lawsuit alleging misconduct against chief, school district

Former LISD officer files lawsuit alleging misconduct against chief, school district

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A former Lubbock Independent School District police officer, Tommy Williams, has filed a lawsuit alleging LISD police officials forced him to issue citations and arrest people unlawfully.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, alleges Jody Scifres, LISD chief of police, and Darren Walters, a supervising Lieutenant with LISD, pressured Williams to write tickets and arrest students, and adults, on the campus.

Williams is suing LISD and Scifres for no less than $100,000.

"Darren Walters, under the supervision of Scifres, pressured Plaintiff, and other officers to write tickets and perform arrests on students in violation of LISD policy, standard police practices, and state law. Walters and Scifres also ordered arrests of adults on campus in violation of state law," the lawsuit stated.

Both Walters and Scifres were said to have also created a hostile work environment for Williams as he refused to comply with their demands. In August of Williams then went to LISD Superintendent, Behrl Robertson, and said officials were looking for any reason to fire him before the end of September, according to the lawsuit.

On Sept. 14 Williams was given a letter of termination, dated Sept. 11, that stated he was in severe violation of LISD policies and procedures. Later, he was put on administrative leave because he was appealing his termination.

Williams alleges his termination was because he was trying to report potentially illegal behavior on the part of Walters, according to the lawsuit.

However, as of March 22, his termination was upheld, even though he appealed. That date was also the day Williams and his representative appeared before the LISD Board of Trustees to appeal his termination.

That was on the grounds that Williams was terminated for an August 25 incident in which he was said to have left a gun unsupervised in a public setting for three hours.

"Plaintiff was terminated in retaliation for reporting, in good faith, violations of the law regarding arrest procedures and citations for offenses by and under orders from his supervising Lieutenant Darren Walter ("Walters")," the lawsuit stated, "whose actions were affirmed, endorsed and supported by Scifres and the LISD."

But it was also during the March BOT meeting evidence was presented that showed Williams' termination was solely on his action stemming from August.

"This is not a case of retaliation, this is not a case of Mr. Williams being mistreated by a supervisor," Rick Rodriguez, assistant superintendent, said during the meeting. "This is a case of an LISD police officer, Mr. Williams, being terminated for leaving a loaded gun and a magazine accessible to anyone at a public event for 3 hours and 37 minutes."

The lawsuit goes on to say Williams was given a "less than Honorable Discharge," which affected his peace officers license. Because of this Williams alleges he suffered severe financial losses.

Williams' lawsuit also states by not acting against Walters and Scifres LISD endorsed their behavior.

"The LISD adopted and endorsed the behavior by Walters and Scifres by receiving notice of the bad acts referred to above, and failing to take action to resolve the violations," the lawsuit stated. "Instead, the LISD terminated Plaintiff and continued to retaliate as referred to above."

KCBD NewsChannel 11 did reach out to officials with LISD and were not given a comment on the matter but deferred to a third party because the case is against a terminated employee. This story will also be updated as more information becomes available.

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