Denton County DA Fires Four After Deputy Wins Racial Discrimination Suit

Thumbnail image for Cary and Susan Piel.jpg
wbap.com
Cary and Susan Piel, in happier times at the Denton County DA's office.
In April 2009, assistant Denton County District Attorney Cary Piel walked into the office of his colleague, assistant DA Nadiya Williams-Boldware, to discuss a case he was preparing for trial. He had just watched video of the crime that showed a black woman drive drunkenly through a cemetery, then fought and verbally abused arresting officers.

Piel told Williams-Boldware that he was infuriated by what he saw, according to a lawsuit she later filed. It made him "understand why people hung from trees" and want to go home and put on his "white pointy hat." When he saw that Williams-Boldware, who is black, was becoming upset, he changed the subject to affirmative action and how it leads to discrimination against white people.

Later that evening, Williams-Boldware related the incident to her chief -- her immediate supervisor, Susan Piel, is married to Cary Piel -- and from there the complaint made its way up the chain of command to District Attorney Paul Johnson. Meanwhile, assistant District Attorney John Renz, whom a colleague had heard telling Piel that he was from Louisiana and understood the pointy-white-hood sentiments, twice called Williams-Boldware a troublemaker as she passed his desk.

Williams-Boldware met with Piel who expressed some regret that he wasn't better at controlling his emotions and issued a sort-of apology, then told her she would be a better prosecutor if she got in touch with her inner feelings. When Williams-Boldware later met with Susan Piel and expressed surprise that she hadn't been more proactive in mediating the dispute, Piel asked, in her husband's defense, if Williams-Boldware didn't sometimes feel it was "us against them."

Cary Piel was reportedly made to take a "diversity class," though there was no evidence that he actually had other than loud pronouncements from him in her hearing, and she eventually filed a complaint against him through Denton County's human resources department. No disciplinary action was ever taken, and Williams-Boldware sensed that the Piels, Johnson and others were closing ranks against her. Which prompted the lawsuit and the decision late last week by a federal jury to award Williams-Boldware $510,000.

And then, yesterday, housecleaning. Johnson fired both Piels, Renz, and another assistant DA, Ryan Calvert. I called the DA's office, which isn't commenting on the case or the firings.

"It ought to be a message to Denton County to stop discriminating against women," said William Trantham, Williams-Boldware's lawyer, referring to another discrimination suit he won in the 1990s on behalf of a female deputy sheriff.

No hard feelings, though. Trantham said that his client no longer feels intimidated at the office and was, in fact approached, by Johnson after the trial. Patted her on the back and shook her hand.

Denton County Lawsuit

Denton County Verdict

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
MC
MC

William Trantham is a creep.  Sure, it was wrong of Piel to make comments in front of that woman, but it is competely ridiculous to award her and Trantham 510K for the incident.  Trantham has been trolling around Denton for decades stirring up trouble. Firing 4 district attorneys.  Get a grip Denton County.

Bfmas
Bfmas

Don't hate the player. HATE THE GAME. He want to put on his "whitepointy hat". Really, for what.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

A family working in same department was wrong regardless to other problems.That whole place was wild.

Joe
Joe

Her lawyer says "discrimination against women" The corrected Jury form says nothing about discrimination or harassment due to her sex, but only mentions her race. Plain and simple, an apologetic jury, bad comments by a white man, and half a million tax payer dollars down the f'in tubes. Had Pier been black and used the 'n' word in his description of the original suspects driving habits and fighting with officers, I'm sure Denton would be $510K richer today.  

Chiggers!
Chiggers!

Had Pier been black, this wouldn't be an issue, now, would it?

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

As soon as that idiot confirmed he said what he did, he should have been fired on the spot.  What an a-hole.

Steve
Steve

How do you go about winning racial discrimination?

Its So Sad
Its So Sad

Isn't it amazing how dumb lawyers are?

watchingsouthdetroit
watchingsouthdetroit

Nepotism is everywhere - not just in government and it is a bad thing.  Some people can't make it on their own and they know it.  Some flaunt it which just pisses everyone else off.

Jay
Jay

Nepotism in government is always a very bad thing. Unfortunately, its as common as daylight,

Whats His Face
Whats His Face

As far as a single anecdotal instance proving a general truth goes, I concur with your sound and measured reasoning.

a reader in Denton
a reader in Denton

Don't forget the abdication of responsibility by the City/County's Human Resources Department. What a nightmare -- I guess this proves that HR Departments are not advocates for employees but minions for management.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...