The Saga Continues
TLC Loses 1st Round In Court

RE: Shelton Charles' Whistleblower Lawsuit

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Originally Posted: Dec 11, 2006

Links To Shelton Charles (Plantiff) Legal Stuff

Plantiffs Original Petition To The Court, pdf
Plantiff's First Set of Interrogatories to TLC, pdf
Plantiffs First Requests for Production to TLC, pdf
Plantiffs First Set of Interrogatories to Gary Grief, pdf

(Related Stories - Links at the bottom of this page)

As it Appeared in
The Austin Chronicle

Lotto Madness Continues In Court

By Patricia J. Ruland
Austin Chronicle
Friday, November 8, 2006

The lawsuit over secrets, lies, and audiotapes concerning a "phantom" disaster recovery facility at the Texas Lottery Commission remains alive. On Nov. 17, U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin issued a trenchant recommendation to deny a motion for summary judgment filed by Gary Grief, acting director of the Lottery Commission, in the whistle-blower lawsuit brought by former employee Shelton Charles - in part, Austin concluded, because Grief's arguments for dismissal were just plain "odd." Charles is suing Grief and the commission, claiming he was fired in retaliation for reporting malfeasance at the Lottery Disaster Recovery/Business Resumption site and racism in the workplace.

Charles was fired from his job as a systems analyst on Nov. 4, 2005, two days after sending an e-mail to Texas Reps. Kino Flores, D-Palmview, and Corbin Van Arsdale, R-Tomball, alleging, in part, that the commission was improperly spending millions on its disaster recovery site, a project created to protect essential electronic information in an emergency. Agency officials, Charles charged, knew the site was was not certified operational, but continued funding the project as if it were already up and running.

"Management has been hiding this fact through lies and the manipulation of information," Charles wrote. Two days later Grief personally fired Charles - ostensibly for insubordination because Charles declined to answer questions during a recorded interview with agency officials, instead asking for written questions.

In his recommendation to Justice Lee Yeakel, who would preside over any trial, Austin wrote that Charles had become "frustrated with ... misuse of government funds and (in his view) its languishing Recovery Site"; that "racial discrimination was rampant at the Commission" - in the form of higher salaries, preferential treatment, and promotions for whites; and that Charles witnessed lottery brass discussing "schemes to avoid [producing] documents [requested by legislators and the press] concerning the Disaster Recovery Site."

Seeking to have Charles' suit dismissed, Grief argued that Charles' e-mail to legislators was simply a work-related communication - part of the normal course of business - so it didn't really qualify as a protected whistle-blower report, meaning in turn that Grief should be immune to any allegation that Charles' termination was retaliatory. Grief denied any involvement in events leading to Charles' termination - noting that he wasn't even present when Charles was questioned.

Not surprisingly, Austin wasn't buying either argument: "The Court finds it hard to swallow" that Charles' regular job duties would include "reporting such things as his employer, the Commission, misspending (or misappropriating) millions of dollars on a phantom [DRS] and hiding this information from the public," Austin wrote. And Grief's contention that he was absent during events resulting in Charles' termination is "rather odd," Austin opined.

"It simply doesn't matter that Grief was not in [Charles'] office" when officials were questioning him. Finally, Charles' communication to legislators was protected speech because it regarded a matter of public concern, Austin noted, citing a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opinion that "there is perhaps no subset of matters of public concern more important than bringing official misconduct to light."

Links To Shelton Charles (Plantiff) Legal Stuff

Plantiffs Original Petition To The Court, pdf
Plantiff's First Set of Interrogatories to TLC, pdf
Plantiffs First Requests for Production to TLC, pdf
Plantiffs First Set of Interrogatories to Gary Grief, pdf

More to come ...

... Related Stories ...

Lotto Madness
Austin Chronicle by Patricia J. Ruland
Sept 2006, Click here.

Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed - Shelton Charles - Feb 2006

Click here

Ex-Employee, Cindi Suarez Sues Texas Lottery Too!
Feb 2006 - Click here.

TLC Moving EquipmentTo Recovery Site
Hearing set at Capitol for Monday, Nov 14th - 11 AM. We want
resignations. Read Nov 7th & 8th postings. Click here

A Texas Lottery Employee With Courage - by
Lottery Workers email rips agency -
Houston Chronicle
November 4, 2005 - Click here

Watch the Nov 14th hearing at the Capitol, .

Public Comments from those who watched the hearing, Click here.

My Nov 17, 2005 Interview
Texas Public Radio- Texas Matters. Listen to
Nov 18, 2005 (#273) story. Very interesting!

Lottery fires worker 2 days after he sent scathing e-mail
Houston Chronicle - Nov 4, 2005
Lottery fires employee who said emergency center doesn't work

Associated Press - Nov 4, 2005
Click here.

A Texas Lottery Employee With Courage - by
Lottery Workers email rips agency - Houston Chronicle
Nov 4, 2005 - AM - Click here.

Lottery's At-Will Firings Keep Employees On Edge
Houston Chronicle - Posted 8/8/05 - Click here

(TX) Lottery Commission's personnel policies questioned (AP Wire)
& They Won The Jackpot ... Lottery money can bring mixed blessings
Posted August 4, 2005 - Click here

Lottery Troubles Everywhere & Message To TLC Employees!
Columnist's slams of Texas Lottery going unnoticed in Austin
Editorial by Ken Rodriguez - Express-News Staff Writer
Ex-Employees (Texas) Sends Video And They Request
that I relay a message to current employees - The
Click here to read all five stories

Two Stories As They Appear In
the Houston Chronicle & SA Express News
Lottery enlists help from outsiders by Lisa Falkenberg
There's still a chance for Lottery to lose even
more credibility by Ken Rodriguez
(Posted 7/23/05) Click here

E-mail To Lawmakers Reveal ...
Commissioner Cox, Gary Grief & Reagan Greer knew but
took NO action ... Apparently they chose to deceive the public. Click here.

True Findings Vanish From Final Audit Report (More Deception)
Lottery Watchdog's Bite 5 Years In Making (About Me)

Click here

- Two Stories And One Editorial By Me -
Lottery losing more than sales — it's losing credibility

Editorial by Ken Rodriguez - San Antonio Express News
Lottery chief gets blame for inflated jackpots
Editorial by Karen Brooks - Dallas Morning News
I Was Frustrated ... About Gary Grief, Kim Kiplin,
Diane Morris & the Commissioners.

Editorial by The
Posted July 3, 2005 - Click here

A Special Message To All TLC
Employees - Past & Present

Click here.

Just point and click ...



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