Jury Sides With Whistle-Blower Fired by Dallas

     DALLAS (CN) – Dallas must pay $209,000 to a former employee who blew the whistle on alleged theft and misconduct among co-workers, a federal jury ruled.
     The verdict came Tuesday after six days of trial before U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor.
     Bruton Stephens, who is black, sued the city in 2010 after he was fired from his job as a senior electronic technician in October 2009.
     Earlier that year, Stephens had filed two grievances alleging that white co-workers had stolen city property and had been driving city vehicles with a suspended driver’s license. Stephens filed another six grievances alleging retaliation and discrimination, and in August he shared his concerns with the city council.
     “Defendant has condoned white males stealing materials from the job, but I have been accused of doing the misdeeds, because I reported the violations,” according to the complaint that Stephens filed pro se. “Defendant increased surveillance of me. Managers accused me of being a trouble-maker because I reported white males committing violations.”
     At trial, Stephens was represented by Corinna Chandler with Chandler Martinez and Eliot Shavin with the Southern Methodist University Civil Legal Clinic.
     The jury awarded Stephens $13,000 in back pay, $195,000 for past mental anguish and emotional distress and $1,000 for past medical expenses.

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