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$40,000 Awarded Four Texas Probation Department Employees In Sexual Harassment Suit,

Nueces County (Texas) Community Supervision an Corrections Department (Department) probation officers Elana Rodriguez, Ida Aguilar, Carolina Balli-Kolpak and Sylvia Westrup filed § 1983 and Title VII civil rights action in 2007 against state officials. They claimed sexual harassment and retaliation. The case was reluctantly settled for $40,000 collectively.

Department Director George Gonzalez allegedly assaulted, sexually harassed and retaliated against plaintiffs when they tried to stop him or complain. The plaintiffs claimed that Rodriguez received poor performance evaluations as a result and that Aguilar was fired. The claims included intentional emotional distress infliction and negligent supervision by Gonzalez’s employers. The Department, County, State, Board of Judges of Nueces County and every county court and district court judge were named because the plaintiffs claimed that they were all aware of the misconduct and declined to intervene. The case was settled but Rodriguez and Westrup moved to withdraw claiming that $10,000 each was insufficient and that they did not consent to it.

On March 13, 2007, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas at Corpus Cristi enforced the settlement agreement dismissing the suit with prejudice. The plaintiff's attorney, who negotiated the settlement, declined to comment. See: Rodriguez v. State of Texas, USDC, SD TX, Case No. 2:04-cv-00281.

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Related legal case

Rodriguez v. State of Texas