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Galveston man alleges county committed libel, malicious intent

By Carol Ostrow | Apr 2, 2015

Defamation lawbooks

A Galveston County man has sued the county, alleging defamation.

Robert Sealy of La Marque filed a lawsuit March 23 in Galveston County District Court against the county of Galveston, alleging damages due to false statements made about him in the scope of his employment.

According to the complaint, Sealy was a county employee, working as a heavy equipment operator and crew leader in the Road and Bridge Department in Dickinson for 34 years, when he was terminated May 28, 2014, by his manager, allegedly for unsatisfactory performance. The discharge statement mentioned misconduct, dishonesty and/or breach of trust as the reason for Sealy’s firing, the suit states.

Sealy’s supervisors asked him to report to the office May 22, 2014, the suit states, and questioned him about an incident involving one of the plaintiff’s crew members. According to the complaint, a private citizen had singled out Sealy in an alleged illicit action involving donation of leftover road material in March 2014.

Sealy told his superiors the allegations were untrue and offered to take a polygraph test, according to the suit, but his managers demurred. Sealy was placed on administrative leave and terminated one week later May 28, 2014, according to the suit. He alleges he was blamed in an attempt to cover another employee’s actions.

The plaintiff cites past and future damage to his professional reputation, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earnings and benefits including health care.

Sealy seeks: more than $1 million in compensatory damages; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney fees; expenses and costs. He is represented by attorney Gordon R. Cooper II of Cooper & Cooper in Houston.

Galveston County District Court case number: 15-CV-0289

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