Harassment ruling sparks call for judge's resignation
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (FOX 26) - For a Montgomery County Justice of the Peace, the nationwide reckoning aimed at sexual harassers is getting real local, real fast.
Documents obtained by FOX 26 confirm that a damning investigation by the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found Judge James Metts fired a former court employee in retaliation for her rejection of his repeated sexual advances over the course of two full years.
Metts' misconduct was first made public by Eric Yollick on his website The Golden Hammer.
"This type of behavior is nothing short of an abuse of power and quite honestly I think he should resign," said Yollick.
And there's more. The sexual harassment case was very quietly settled in 2014 for $45,000 -- a punishment leveled not against Judge Metts, but against the taxpayers of Montgomery County.
Instead of stepping off the bench, Metts is now seeking the higher office of County Commissioner.
Jim Clark is the current Precinct 4 Commissioner Metts is seeking to replace.
"This was proven. Basically, it's just short of hush money. $45,000 to make this problem go away and the tax payers wrote the check. It's not right," said Clark.
Clark calls the Judge's behavior "reprehensible" and unworthy of being rewarded by voters.
"It has nothing to do with elections and it has everything to do with doing the right thing," said Clark.
Clark is hardly alone in his criticism. Fellow Pct. 4 candidate Bob Bagley also fired at Metts calling for the judge to resign.
"I've got three daughters and four granddaughters. I have no use for harassers or deviants in the work place. Montgomery County taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for it," said Bagley.
FOX 26 made repeated calls to Metts for comment. Those calls have not been returned.