A former administrative law judge for the Texas Youth Commission was awarded $700,000 by a Dallas jury last week after jurors agreed that he was fired for complaining about misconduct by fellow judges.This isn't the first employee who courts have found to have been illegally terminated in the wake of TYC's widely publicized sex-abuse scandal, though the firing came prior the current executive director, Cherie Townsend, coming on board. This is the first, though, that I've heard of complaints regarding judges in parole revocation hearings - I'd like to learn more about the details of the cases that got this whistleblower fired.
"It has been a long road," said Christopher Koustoubardis. He said he wasn't surprised that the jury found in his favor, but he was disturbed that "the people that instigated this whole thing against me are still there, and the abuse that I reported is still going on at TYC."
In March 2008, Koustoubardis told the TYC ombudsman and others that his supervising judge had met with a police officer prior to a parole hearing and tried to influence the officer's testimony as a witness. He also said the judge instructed him to rule a certain way in the hearing, which he did not do.
A few months later, Koustoubardis helped the ombudsman's office investigate a complaint about another judge tampering with a government record.
"[In] these two cases that I reported, the kids were not getting a fair trial at the parole revocation hearings," Koustoubardis said.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Jury verdict favors TYC whistleblower
A wrongful termination complaint against TYC resulted in a jury verdict in favor of an administrative law judge after he complained about tainted parole practices and was fired in 2008, the Dallas News reports ("Jury sides with ex-TYC Judge Koustoubardis, saying he was fired for reporting misconduct," Oct. 12):