Community Center director claims she lost job for reporting criminal activity

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 27, 2012, 4:38am


SHERMAN - The former director of a disabilities program has filed a lawsuit that claims she was terminated in retaliation for reporting criminal activity.

Kelli Brown filed suit against Mental Health Mental Retardation Services of Texoma, also known as Texoma Community Center, and Anthony S. Maddox on Jan. 17 in Grayson County District Court. The defendants removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on March 22.

Brown, the former director of the Intellectual and Development Disabilities Program, accuses Texoma Community Center of retaliation for firing her because she reported criminal acts by the Center and cooperated during the investigation by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

People receiving treatment from TCC have certain protective rights, including the right to unrestricted communication with anyone of their choice. Under Texas Health and Safety Code, TCC is required to offer an appropriate setting that is no more restrictive to the patient's social liberties than necessary in order to protect against dangers and for the most effective treatment.

Brown states that the defendant unlawfully restricted a patient's access to a volunteer. According to the lawsuit, Brown reported this restriction to the Texas Department of Family Protective Services on Nov. 21, 2011.

In early December, the Community Center was notified of a pending investigation. The investigation concluded that the restriction was a "deficient practice."

Brown claims she was terminated from her position within 30 minutes of the conclusion of the investigation.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for mental anguish, lost wages, exemplary damages, lost fringe benefits, attorney's fees, interest and court costs.

Brown is represented by D. Ray Murphy of Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Joplin P.C. in McKinney.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:12-cv-00159

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