Montgomery County Tax Office named in discrimination lawsuit

By Joel Brakken | Feb 21, 2014

An ex-employee of the Montgomery County Tax Office is suing for retaliatory discharge and discrimination.

Ruth Ann "Missy" Vandine filed a lawsuit Feb. 13 in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division against Montgomery County Tax Assessor Collector J.R. Moore Jr., Chief Deputy of Operations Tammy McRae, the Montgomery County Tax Office and the Montgomery County Civil Service Commission.

The defendants are accused of age discrimination, retaliation in violation of the ADEA and unlawful termination.

According to the complaint, VanDine, who is older than 40 years old, began employment with the Tax Office on June 13, 2005, when she was hired as a full time Deputy Specialist tax clerk.

The complaint states in August 2009 the defendant McRae began working in the tax office as VanDine's immediate supervisor. In August 2010, VanDine was promoted to the position of Relief Manager. On Sept. 26, 2011, she became a registered Texas collector or RTC certified.

According to the complaint, on Feb. 15, 2013, VanDine was passed over for a position that she alleges had previously been promised to her by the defendant.

VanDine claims she called her supervisor to complain that she and other well-qualified relief managers older than 40 years old were not allowed to apply nor were even considered for the position.

VanDine further alleges that following her complaint, on April 23, 2013, she received a letter from McRae with false allegations concerning her conduct at the branch office on Feb. 15, 2013. McRae's letter allegedly accused her of storming around and ripping a sign off of the refrigerator.

VanDine states she sent a letter to the defendant responding to the allegations and was later summoned to a meeting May 1, 2013. According to the suit, at the meeting she was told she was being terminated for insubordination.

VanDine is seeking a declaratory judgment against the defendants, back pay and other damages.

She is being represented by Houston attorney Lesa L. Carter.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:14-cv-00371


This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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