Suit says Texas City wrongfully fired laborer for possessing city-owned port-o-potty

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Feb 7, 2013

GALVESTON - Claiming the city of Texas City wrongfully fired him for possessing one of its portable toilets without authorization, Michael Benson has filed a lawsuit.

Recent court documents submitted Jan. 25 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas assert race to be a factor behind the alleged termination.

Benson, an African American, worked for Texas City as a laborer from Nov. 15, 1995, to Sept. 17, 2009.

He shows that the events in question which are the focus of his suit began nearly five years ago when he complained about low pay for his additional duties.

According to the plaintiff, the city paid a Hispanic male who performed the same tasks more than him.

The original petition explains that Texas City then accused Benson of illegally using a port-o-potty for four years, stating criminal charges were filed against the complainant.

Benson won an acquittal, but he failed to secure reinstatement from the city, which had dismissed him, the suit states.

It argues the subject firing was a culmination of disparate and retaliatory conduct attributed to Texas City in the wake of Benson's grievances.

The plaintiff adds the supervisor of the city's vehicle maintenance shops, a white man, gave tires away only to retire without being disciplined upon the discovery of the purported wrongdoing.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Anthony P. Griffin with A. Griffin Lawyers in Galveston is representing Benson.

Case No. 3:13-CV-0023

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