HOUSTON (FOX 26) - “I have a very hard exterior but there’s been times I cried. It’s been very emotional even for me to be doing what I’m doing right now,” said Texas Southern University Police Sergeant James Williams.
Williams has spent the last 14 years working as a cop on the Texas Southern University campus.
He says he’s the type of guy who doesn’t discuss his personal life at work.
“What you do at night with whomever you do it with should have no bearing on the kind of job you do in the workforce,” said attorney Brennen Dunn.
But a lawsuit Williams has filed against the university accuses seven of its police officers of spreading rumors, lies and defamatory information about Williams regarding his sexual orientation and sexual activities.
“It just felt like if I didn’t speak about it, it will eventually go away, and it never went away,” he said.
According to the lawsuit, the sexual harassment just got worse.
“They treated him as if he was less than human,” Dunn said.
The lawsuit claims a picture was placed in the police department’s roll call room and a restroom for two days.
“Making him essentially the laughing stock of the TS.U Police Department," said Dunn.
“That’s when it became a little more intense," Williams said.
Williams says he reported the harassment to the campus’s HR department.
But while the university investigated, Williams says he still had to work side by side with the supervisor he complained about.
“My main thing was get him away from me and they made me continue to work with this guy for almost seven months,” Williams said.
Documents indicate the university’s HR investigation substantiated Williams claims of discrimination and harassment.
“They were initially fired from their jobs after a lengthy investigation,” Dunn said. “I know at least one of those individuals was actually offered his job back which is to say the least surprising.”
James Williams is still employed as a sergeant with the campus’ police department.
In a response, Texas Southern University says it cannot comment on pending litigation or personnel matters.