McALLEN — A former court reporter has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Hidalgo County, claiming she was wrongfully terminated after reporting racism, illegal pay and a “breakfast club.”
The lawsuit filed in federal court on behalf of Carla Davis seeks unspecified damages for lost earnings, compensatory damages and pain and suffering damages.
Hidalgo County officials referred all questions to the county’s legal counsel, attorney Stephen L. Crain. Crain said he can’t speak about pending litigation.
Davis worked as a court reporter in Hidalgo County’s auxiliary courts from Oct. 24, 2011, to Aug. 1, 2012, when she was fired by a state district judge. The judge, who was not named in the lawsuit, told her that she created a negative work environment, the complaint states.
Davis reportedly tried to commit suicide, but she has since recovered. Before she was fired, Davis contacted the FBI, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, a county attorney and the county’s human resources office with complaints, the lawsuit states. She claimed that visiting judges were being paid a full day rate rather than a half day.
Davis was told about the “breakfast club,” where an employee had to bring treats every Friday to all of the other court employees, Davis claims.
Davis claims to have reported that on Fridays, some court employees left before 5 p.m. and reported a full workweek.
The lawsuit says that Davis, an African American woman, was subjected to racism and verbal attacks.
Davis’ attorney Robert Goodman said he couldn’t go into details.