Galveston Co. requests continuance as sole defendant in ex-deputy constable's sexual harassment suit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 30, 2013, 1:48pm

GALVESTON - Citing changes in personnel within its legal department, Galveston County is requesting an extension for the trial setting of a former deputy constable's sexual harassment lawsuit.

An unopposed motion for continuance filed Sept. 25 into James P. Gist's suit awaits Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor's approval to push back the trial date - originally set for Oct. 7 - to another date "this calendar year."

Gist, a League City resident, initiated legal action last year on claims then-Galveston County Precinct 7 Constable Matranga made unwanted and uninvited sexual advances toward him from May 2011 to late October 2011.

His suit asserts there were approximately 10 instances in which Matranga supposedly tried to seduce him, adding he used a recording device to no avail as Matranga learned about said device and disciplined him.

Court records indicate that Matranga submitted a formal response in early June 2012.

She lost her bid for re-election in the late May 2012 Republican primary to 30-year law enforcement veteran Rick Sharp.

Gist recently non-suited Matranga and her former office, essentially leaving the county as the sole defendant.

The county's two-page motion explains that the retirements of its previous counsel and the former director of its legal department necessitated the need for continuance.

"Because of the time required to prepare for trial, along with other work created by the recent retirements, it is necessary to request for a continuance," the document says.

It adds Gist does not object.

Case No. 12-CV-1159

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