Two former Killeen employees are suing the city for violation of the Texas Whistleblower Act. Both were fired back in December after an investigation into the city's Fleet Services Division, the department in which both employees
The Fleet Services Division in the City of Killeen has been turned upside for about the past 6 months. Two employees fired, one resigned, and another retired.
Former Killeen Finance Director Barbara Gonzales and former city mechanic John Acker have filed separate whistleblower lawsuits. According to his lawyer, Acker says he was allegedly fired by the Police Chief because he reported that a sergeant did personal work on his boat at the department, which is misuse of city equipment.
Gonzales' lawsuit claims
city officials like City Manager, Glenn Morrison, were mis-using funds,
so she reported it to the police. She says that's why Morrison fired
"First they want to clear their name," said their attorney, Bill Aleshire. "Mr. Acker would really like to have his job back."
Barbara Gonzales wants her job back too but according to her lawsuit she also wants to be compensated for her lost wages, her futures loss in earnings, emotional pain and suffering, court costs, and attorney fees.
"There isn't a shred of evidence anywhere that Barbara Gonzales ever took anything from the city other than just trying to do her job and make sure money didn't get lost," said Aleshire.
But the city plans to fight back. The City of Killeen has released this statement:
"The City of Killeen has received and reviewed a copy of the lawsuit filed by former employee Barbara Gonzales. The document is replete with misinformation and untruths. We look forward to the opportunity to defend the city against these false claims in a court of law."
The city says Ackers and Gonzales were fired after an investigation of the Fleet Services Division found mismanagement, including misappropriation of city time and equipment.
Ackers and Gonzales have also filed an appeal with the Personnel Board. Hearings for the appeal will be in the coming months.