County agrees to settle discrimination lawsuit

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Denton County commissioners have agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former county employee.

Commissioners voted unanimously this week to approve the settlement of the suit filed by former Precinct 3 Deputy Constable Richard Tackett.

In the lawsuit filed in federal court, Tackett accused Precinct 3 Constable Jerry Raburn of discriminating against Tackett because of his gender and age and creating a hostile work environment. The suit also accuses Raburn of unlawfully firing Tackett while he was on medical leave.

“I’m glad we’re able to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion to all parties,” County Judge Mary Horn said later.

Settlement documents must be submitted to federal court by Feb. 28. The county is admitting no wrongdoing in settling the case, officials said.

Raburn declined to comment on the settlement, saying he does not comment on personnel issues.

Tackett’s attorney, Rhonda E. Cates, could not be reached for comment.

Horn said commissioners discuss privately in executive session which cases they want to settle and which they want to fight.

“I don’t think it will come as a big surprise to anyone that lawsuits are expensive,” Horn said. “Attorneys are expensive. After consideration, you just try to come to the best resolution you can. That’s executive session discussion. Whether it’s this case or another one, that’s how it’s done.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.


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