The Texas Attorney General's Office is being sued by Ginger Weatherspoon, an attorney who in 2006 began working in the Child Support Division.
She claimed that in December 2008 she was approached by two senior attorneys who wanted her to sign an affidavit about the actions of a Dallas County family court judge for a judicial misconduct complaint.
Weatherspoon refused to sign the affidavit, saying she had not observed the judge, David Hanschen, treating attorneys badly in court or making prejudicial rulings as it stated.
She claims that after continued hounding by other attorneys, she signed an affidavit that contained truthful information about a conversation she had with Hanschen.
Weatherspoon states she immediately reported what was happening to her supervisor.
But she claims she was fired for not going along with the complaint against Hanschen.
She filed her lawsuit on May 18, 2009, in Dallas County 68th District Court with Judge Martin J. Hoffman presiding.
The AG’s office had a history with Judge Hanschen, it turns out. In 2008, the family court judge was allowing men to take DNA tests to confirm paternity in some child support cases.
State law determined that a man was legally the father of any child born to his wife -- and men only had four years to challenge their paternity. But Hanschen was allowing the tests after four years, stating there was “no statute of limitations on the truth.”
Abbott had objected, stating that a man only has four years to challenge the legal presumption that he is the father of any child born into his marriage.
Abbott stopped Hanschen from DNA testing by getting an emergency court order on Feb. 1, 2008.
However about a year later, Hanschen collaborated with the state office on making substantive policy changes.
In her original complaint, Weatherspoon alleged the senior attorneys in the Child Support office confined her against her will and made numerous attempts to “coerce perjured testimony” from her concerning Judge Hanschen.
She claims the affidavit they were pressuring her to sign contained “numerous misrepresentations” about the facts of a conversation she had with Judge Hanschen and “mischaracterized” the tone and nature of their conversation.
On Feb. 12, 2009, she says a senior attorney yelled at her, slammed his fist on the table and told her that Attorney General Greg Abbott himself was waiting on her affidavit. After signing an affidavit that said she did not believe Judge Hanschen committed misconduct, Weatherspoon left the building. She claims she was fired when she did not immediately return.