Fired state worker files suit
Former water board manager suing agency, says she was let go for supporting a candidate.
A former manager at the Texas Water Development Board is suing the agency, alleging she was fired for voicing support for a liberal Austin City Council candidate even as at least a dozen other employees used state computers to swap conservative and sometimes racist messages without repercussions.
The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court, states at least a dozen development board staff members were regularly sending and receiving emails on their work accounts about political matters unrelated to state water policy. Among 15 pages of emails included in the lawsuit are messages critical of President Barack Obama and disparaging of African-Americans.
One email, from Water Development Board employee Mark Michon to fellow employee Sanjeev Kalaswad, among others, reads: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give the man a welfare check, a forty ounce malt liquor, a crack pipe and some Air Jordans and he votes Democrat for a lifetime.”
The lawsuit states the emails were obtained through an open-records request to the Water Development Board for emails sent to and from the agency’s computers. Agency rules prohibit “any political activity on state time or using state resources for any political activity.”
Water Development Board spokeswoman Merry Klonower said the agency