First, here is my conversation with McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara. I ask him who made the decision to settle the discrimination lawsuit against him. Hint: it wasn't him.
Remember, McLennan County is using $575k of your tax dollars and the insurance company was willing to part with more than $1 million to make this thing go away even though McNamara didn't want to and says he had plenty of evidence that his reorganization was about running the department and not politics.
Now, take a look at this:
That's just part of the ruling - but the operative part - in the wrongful termination lawsuit against new Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange. The lawsuit was remarkably similar to the one brought against McNamara.
Yes, there are some key differences. Yes, no two lawsuits are alike. And, yes, you can't assume an outcome in the McNamara case based on what happened in Bell County.
And look at the date on the Bell County ruling: July 21. The day before McLennan County commissioners decided the throw in the towel in their lawsuit. Maybe they hadn't heard yet. Maybe it wouldn't have changed their minds.
But the judge in the Bell County case dismissed the first amendment claims made by the plaintiffs by saying the sheriff had every right to reorganize his department to put people in place whom he thought would be on board with implementing his policies.
How can you trust people who vehemently opposed you even being sheriff in the first place with implementing your policy goals!? That's the very same argument I've been making in the McNamara case.
The bottom line is it looks like McLennan County, the insurance company, and the lawyers involved decided they'd rather waste $575k of your money than fight for what's right and win in court.