County responds to discrimination lawsuit
The Orange County Commissioners Court authorized Assistant County Attorney Douglas Manning to respond to a charge of discrimination at their regular meeting on Monday afternoon.
The decision was in response to an EEOC charge of discrimination suit filed by former Orange County Sheriff’s Office employee Vanessa Bottley.
Manning said the dispute is based over an injury Bottley received off the job. She ran out of employee sick time as a result and was unable to work, leading to her dismissal. Manning added the nature of the discrimination charge is not racial.
Commissioners approved a resolution for the Indigent Defense Grant Program. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said the grant is a big fund the county draws down from every year. The resolution has passed the last five to six years.
Also related to indigents’ issues, the court approved the renewal contract between the county and Gulf Coast Health Center for non-emergency services provided to qualified participants of the Orange County Indigent Health Care Program. Jennifer Haney, social services director, said Medicare has reimbursed the county since 2004. She added nothing has changed and this is a mandate from the state. The term of the contract is from Nov. 1, 2014 through Oct. 31, 2015. It was approved for a subdivision of an 11.628 acre tract into two smaller tracts contained within the John M. Swisher Survey. Clark Slacum, county engineer, said the request is from Enterprise Pipeline. The subdivision lies off of North Tram Road in Precinct 4.
Commissioners approved relocating MIS programmers to empty spots in the CPS office in the courthouse. The programmers are currently housed on the second floor and would be moved to the third floor. The CPS Department has more room since employment was reduced from four to one employee. The new office will give the programmers room for three large printers and an envelope printer, room to build PCs and room to give presentations.
Owen Burton, Precinct 2 commissioners, asked if there would be a cost for the move. Mark Wimberley, operations and maintenance supervisor, said there would be no cost. “Five hundred dollars would do it,” Wimberley said. “It was no more than that at the VA (office) when we moved them (to the Expo Center) and it was under $500.”
November 13, 2014 was proclaimed as National Adoption Day in Orange County. Some points of the proclamation read the county recognizes the importance of giving children permanent, safe and loving families through adoption. More than 100,000 children in the United States foster care system are waiting to be adopted. More than 6,415 children in Texas and more than 27 children in Orange County are waiting for permanent families.
To help these children find permanent, nurturing families, the local courts of Orange County and nationally will open their doors on National Adoption Day to finalized the adoptions of local children and join other organizations to celebrate all adoptions. Chad Teeler, CPS supervisor, said three children will be adopted on November 13 and it will be a joyous day of celebration.
Lastly, the personnel department reported a dispatcher, jailers and deputies from the OCSO, a juvenile probation officer, and MIS PC/Network Tech and a Mosquito seasonal sprayer have resigned from the county.
The personnel office also received a letter of resignation by Dr. Roy Stanford, county extension agent effective Dec. 4, 2014.
Five housekeepers were laid off as of September 30.
There were new hires for a PT veterans clerk, two PT transportation drivers, a PT records clerk, two PT seasonal mosquito control, two jailers, one dispatcher, one deputy and 140 elections workers.
There are current job openings for a juvenile probation officer and a MIS/PC Network Tech 1.