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10-17-09, 07:40 AM #1
Dallas UT college Police Officers sue for jobs back, after being fired for reporting Police Chief's misuse of State resources
Let's see... How can a University make themselves look dumb, their Police Chief look more guilty, and discourage people from filing legitimate complaints? I know, fire all the whistleblowers for failing to report it earlier!!!
University of Texas at Dallas police employees fired after reporting boss sue for jobs back | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News
12:00 AM CDT on Saturday, October 17, 2009
By HOLLY K. HACKER / The Dallas Morning News
Two former employees of the University of Texas at Dallas Police Department have sued the school, alleging they were fired for blowing the whistle on their boss over possible criminal activity.
Debra Marable and Ryan Ballard are asking for their jobs back at the campus in Richardson and for unspecified damages. Marable was assistant police chief and Ballard was an officer.
In April, Marable and four other commanders filed a complaint against Police Chief Colleen Ridge, alleging she used a state-leased vehicle for personal use, made unauthorized purchases and used state resources to benefit her consulting business.
Ridge, who has denied the allegations, resigned in May during an internal investigation. The university fired Marable and Ballard in July. Among the reasons for their firings was that Marable allegedly knew but failed to report that Ridge misused state resources and that Ballard allegedly falsified records related to Ridge's fuel and mileage reports.
Dan Wyde, the lawyer representing Marable and Ballard, said they did nothing wrong. "They feel like they have been wrongfully terminated, thrown under the bus for bringing these allegations [against Ridge] to light to the University of Texas System."
Wyde, a former criminal court judge, said, "You don't terminate the employees because they didn't police the chief. You terminate the chief's supervisors."
Officials for UT-Dallas and the UT System said they do not comment on pending litigation and had not seen the lawsuit, which was filed in Dallas County district court.
The Collin County district attorney's office has been investigating the university's police department, but no charges have been filed. UT-Dallas straddles Dallas and Collin counties.
Larry Zacharias, a former Richardson police chief, became UT-Dallas police chief last month.
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