Suit: Woman retaliated against for complaints about 'uncomfortable' comments

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Nov 2, 2012

HOUSTON - After she was allegedly terminated from Forfeiture Support Associates LLC for reporting sexual harassment against her, Harris County resident Valeri Devere has filed a lawsuit. 

Court papers submitted Oct. 30 before the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division say Devere's apparent firing was for "no legitimate reason" and "in retaliation for opposing an unlawful employment practice by making complaints about the inappropriate sexual comments."

Prior to the events in question, Devere was employed as a records examiner/analyst for the defendant, a Virginia-based government contracting agency, out of a Houston area office.

She shows the supposed harassment began in October 2009 when an Immigrant and Customs Enforcement special agent named David Harrison "made inappropriate and cruel comments of a sexual nature which made [her] very uncomfortable."

According to the original petition, the agent brought up the subject of her deceased husband and remarked how she "[has not] had sex in over a year" which prompted Devere to make a formal complaint.

The suit further asserts Harrison, who is not a defendant in the case, was the subject of an investigation for which the complainant "began experiencing retaliation."

It states Devere was placed under the supervision of a presumed friend of her alleged harasser who claimed she "was resistant to change and was refusing to perform certain types of work."

Devere denied the allegations on grounds she was adhering to the terms of a government contract in order to properly perform her job duties.

The suit says ICE staff continued to mistreat the plaintiff as a result of her sexual harassment report until her firing.

Consequently, she seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Nasim Ahmad with Cline Ahmad in The Woodlands is representing Devere.

Case No. 4:12-CV-3234

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