HOUSTON – A day before the successful censure vote, Michael Wolfe filed suit against the Harris County Department of Education in an attempt to stop the board from branding him a sexual harasser.
Wolfe filed his petition April 16, making several accusations against fellow trustee Eric Dick in his petition, which includes an allegation that Dick indicated to Wolfe that he could be given “drugs and women” for voting to support funding for a lobbying contract.
Wolfe claims that he has been wrongfully accused of sexual harassment and that the allegations against him are motivated by his refusal to vote consistent with Dick’s wishes.
In 2018, Wolfe ran for justice of the peace in Harris County. Jennifer Knesek, the HCDE secretarial candidate who Wolfe is accused of harassing, was a supporter of his opponent.
According to the complaint, Knesek, a close friend of Dick, attacked Wolfe and his campaign on Facebook before seeking the board secretarial position. A year earlier, Dick had tried to set him up with Knesek but he had declined.
Dick suggested to Knesek that she “make friends” with Wolfe in an effort to land the secretarial position. Although she was not invited, Knesek showed up to Wolfe’s Election night party. At the event, Knesek told Wolfe that she wanted to get together with to discuss the Facebook attacks, the suit states.
According to the suit, Knesek approached Wolfe on two more separate occasions and even showed up at his place employment with baked goods. The two finally agreed to meet for coffee to resolve their political differences.
“Again, it appeared to be Mr. Dick conspiring with Ms. Knesek to get Mr. Wolfe to support her for the secretarial position,” the suit states. “Soon thereafter, Mr. Dick made it clear that he wanted Mr. Wolfe to support him on three different votes.”
According to the suit, Dick wanted Wolfe to support him for president of the board, which he did not, and to support funding for a lobbying contract, which he voted against.
“Previously, Mr. Dick had indicated (to) Mr. Wolfe that the lobbying firm made it clear it could give him ‘drugs and women’ upon his supports (sic) of their contract,” the suit states.
Dick also wanted Wolfe to support a particular lawyer to be retained to represent the board. Wolfe, however, chose another candidate.
Wolfe also says he refused to join Dick’s plan to have former congressional candidate Kathaleen Wall run against Sen. John Cornyn in the 2020 Republican Primary.
“Mr. Dick had a plan to have Ms. Wall run and to include his friends at the lobbying firm to support Ms. Wall’s campaign against Senator Cornyn,” the suit states. “It is yet to be determined whether Mr. Dick has convinced Ms. Wall to challenge Senator Cornyn.
“After voting inconsistent with Mr. Dick’s wishes, Mr. Dick told Mr. Wolfe, ‘Your political career is over.’”
Wolfe is represented by Houston attorney Jared Woodfill.
The petition was filed in Harris County District Court, cause No. 2019-27081.