Former Editor John Wright is Suing the Dallas Voice for Firing Him, "Reverse Discrimination"

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John Wright
Fired Dallas Voice editor John Wright's feud with his former employer didn't end with the parting shots he delivered here and elsewhere, nor with the launch of Lone Star Q, Wright's new online news venture.

It's simmered on, first in hearings last fall before the Texas Workforce Commission, where Wright was trying to collect unemployment benefits, and now with a lawsuit. Wright filed suit on Wednesday against Voice Publishing, Inc., former owner Robert Moore, and current co-owners Leo Cusimano and Terry Thompson.

The petition itself is 33 pages, an epic as far as wrongful termination lawsuits go. It would probably be easier to list the legal claims Wright doesn't make against the Voice, but we'll enumerate his grievances anyway. In addition to the wrongful termination claim, Wright alleges:

See also: Dallas Voice Editor John Wright Says He Was Fired for Reporting on Public-Erection Ban at Gay Pride Parade

- unpaid overtime (he worked an average of 50 hours per week but was only paid for 40);

- sexual harassment (Moore allegedly sent him iChat messages of nude photos of Asian boys; Cusimano would allegedly call Wright into his office to show him nude pictures);

- "breach of quasi-contract" (Wright bought a house with Cusimano's encouragement, only to be fired two months later);

- defamation (Cusimano, Moore and Thompson allegedly told Voice employees and the TWC that Wright was guilty of "insubordination");

- violation of the constitutional right to equal protection and due process (they included false charges in his employment file, torpedoing his chances of securing a comparable job);

- conspiracy;

- violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Wright claims to have a "condition recognized under the [ADA]" for which the Voice did not provide reasonable accommodation);

- racial discrimination

The latter point might seem puzzling, given that Wright is a white guy. But according to the lawsuit, the Voice's lone black employee worked in the art department and wasn't a very diligent worker. One Thursday last May -- a production day, when the paper is laid out -- the employee left without finishing his assignments. Rather than discipline the employee, they let him stay home on a subsequent Thursday evening while Wright and other staffers finished the paper. Wright chalks up the decision to a reluctance to discipline the employee because he was black, aka "reverse discrimination."

See also: Dallas Voice Publisher: Editor John Wright Was Fired, But It Wasn't for "Doing Journalism"

Specific legal claims aside, the lawsuit does shed some light on the circumstances that led to Wright's termination, which Voice management declined to discuss at the time and which Wright painted as retaliation over his reporting on Dallas Pride's public-erection ban.

According to Wright's suit, the "insubordination" claim stemmed from a comment he posted on his Facebook page on September 14, 2013, criticizing how "another publication had covered an issue that emerged during Pride" -- an apparent reference to this Dallas Morning News article.

Specifically, he took issue with the paper quoting Cooper Smith Koch, a Dallas PR exec probably better known as one of JC Penneys' two gay dads, as a representative of the local LGBT community.

That weekend, as Wright and Koch sniped at each other on Facebook, Koch complained to Moore and Thompson about Wright's posts. Wright talked with Moore, then Thompson, who encouraged him to stop battling with Koch, according to the suit. It wasn't worth Wright's time.

Wright sent Koch an email anyways, which he defends, saying it was within the purview of his job as editor. That Monday, Wright was fired.

Cusimano has not responded to a request for comment. In a previous interview, he declined to go into detail but defended Wright's termination as justified.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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30 comments
aaronstew2003
aaronstew2003

the guy loves to argue and protest, boycott and judge.  its what he does.  33 page petition isnt surprising. sigh.

whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

If its true, he should have just stopped at Sexual harassment, the rest make him sound like a loony tune character.

MikeyLikesIt
MikeyLikesIt

John should get on with his life, he'd be happier. But having said that, Cooper Smith Koch is a grandiose queen who got on the phone and called his friends and got someone fired who couldn't afford to lose their job. He reveled in his accomplishment publicly afterwards like he was on some Logo "Don't mess with me girl, I'll show you" sitcom.

I don't think dealing with spoiled assholes is grounds for a lawsuit though or we'd all be in court.

Yes Virginia there are two Americas, even over in Rainbow Town.

amuse2
amuse2

Why did you guys pick the worst possible picture of him?

ruddski
ruddski

Does "reverse discrimination" mean you're undeserving of a job, but get hired anyway?

RobertaJeffress
RobertaJeffress

I just wonder how future employer's might react when they see what he considers to be unacceptable working conditions.   My heart ached when I read the part about having to work beyond 40 hours, and a fellow worker supporting him wanting to get a home, and his complaint of discrimination AND reverse discrimination.   Yet to be asked to look at a nude photo on the Internet is beyond upsetting.   He should have gone immediately to the FBI as he will never be able to erase that image of a nude male from his mind.  Clearly a case of PTSD.  I hope he survives.  



ford1776
ford1776

He's doubling down on digging his own grave.  The guy is always in mid-tantrum. loser

dc005
dc005

Guarantee you one thing:  he'll never work in this town again.  Or any other.



RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Do the documents make any mention of whether he was salaried or hourly?

What is a quasi-contract?

He can't get unemployment benefits if fired for cause, right?

Just a few questions the article brought to mind.

ruddski
ruddski

He might have a case on the Disability Act complaint, the guy IS kinda funny-looking.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Real Housewives of Dallas Voice?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I never realized insubordination was something you could be "guilty" of in a newspaper office.  Is there a jail term possible? 

aaronstew2003
aaronstew2003

@MikeyLikesIt  I dont know Mr Koch so i cant agree or defend but i can suggest we not assume he called to ask for Mr Wright to be fired.  Perhaps Mr Wright wouldnt let the issue go, he's demonstrated over and again how he beats anything to death.  Mr Koch couldve called to complain?  And perhaps the paper decided it wasnt good practice for a editor to write a nasty letter to a reader?  isnt that as possible, or even more likely than what you've assumed to be the case?  

ruddski
ruddski

Sure he will, he's gay, he has to be hired.

ruddski
ruddski

No need to drag Myrna into this.

ruddski
ruddski

Oh crap, I didn't attribute the Coen brothers.

ruddski
ruddski

Insubordination is possible anywhere people are employed, and there is a chain of command/authority.

Of course, if you don't know what a payroll tax is, you're excused for not knowing that particular aspect of employment either.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

A collection of comments by Ruddski, one day ago:


Heh, could you see a Hassidic Jew in ringlets, cap and heavy overcoat golfing on a 100+ degree Dallas Summer day?


Ever ride in an elevator full of hassidics on a warm summer day in Chicago?


Standoffish in my experience. More so than the average Jew I've encountered - but even Jews I know describe them that way.


--how "standoffish" is "the average Jew" in your experience?---

Hard to tell, they look just like us goys, unless they're ultra-conservative. Most that I know are pretty friendly, and love making Jew jokes.


Yeah, I kinda got that from studying that history. Also, Jews vote primarily democrat and it was primarily Russian Jewish immigrants who blessed America with Marxism.


Ok, what percentage of Russian Jew emigrants were capitalists? Have fun!



harleykarmadad
harleykarmadad

@ruddski First of all I don't buy most of the bullshit you write.   You even contradict yourself with your back story.  

Regarding the flip-flopping of your hateful remarks. Try reading your own comments (if you can stand to do so) and you will find them.  You are pretty much to toke troll and sadly you disrupt any attempt at rational discussions by spewing some controversial crap.  

Too bad you had to select this particular blog to feed your need for attention.  I am sure others come and go from this site, read your multiple post and see right through them as I do.  Your goal is to bash any and all that have a different view point.  It is baseless.  

You are what you are.  It is just a shame you have to be IT here.

 

ruddski
ruddski

Since we now have two lightweights exhibiting frustrations with their own intellectual weaknesses in a terrifically boring and time-wasteful way, while assuming anyone gives a shit about their problems while beating their tender little fisties against my manly, laughing chest, I thought I'd look into little Harley. This is what I found in the limited time I choose to devote to playing with self-absorbed, seething little girls:

In reference to a gay man, a statement exhibiting not only hostility to women, but gays:

"He must be a graduate of the Sarah Palin University of Victimization. I know from the looks of this photo, he has the lipstick on the pick thing down pretty good."

He will be lucky if the GreenSheet bring him on. He better stock up on lipstick at the Dollar Store."

More obvious hostility towards gays:

"I love how he is white and trying to use the race/diversity card and at the very same time demeaning everyone for being "SHITTING OLD MEN". The fact is no matter how much lip stick he puts on those lying lips he is still spewing shit."

And yet even more hostility towards women and gays :

"Plus he didn't beat Michelle Bachman to the punch as she had latterly jogged there and was basically making out with 80 year old man to prove what a real patriot she is. Meanwhile her hubby was teaching a group of guys how NOT to take it up the butt."

And here, an entire reply centered on a typo, the mark of a True Genius in his/her own little mind:

"Excuse me, Mr. Illiterate here and I am trying to unwed my PANNIES but I am not sure what a pannie is. Did you mean Panini? Because I love Panini's and yet I have never had a problem getting them in a wad. If you know people who do, tell them to eat it like a sandWHITCHIE."

At this point, I got painfully bored researching this reactionary, unimaginative, humorless, hostile and whiny little shit. Bet you that he, like the spinster gal, sputters and fumes a lot in the future.

I like pissing off the weak- minded.

ruddski
ruddski

Oh, Harley, you really shouldn't use "short bus" in reference to kids or adults with mental or physical challenges, especially when wringing your tender little paws over the horrible lack of political correctness on the part of people much smarter and more accomplished than yourself.

It makes you appear hypocritical, and a bit of an insensitive, groveling little asshole - which may very well be your unfortunate lot in life - but really, for sake of maintaining a facade of intellect, you should watch your mouth lest your habit extend to real life, and result in dental problems.

ruddski
ruddski

Myrna, we've established several times that you find certain statistics and facts as racist, etc. there's not much I can do about that, I can't force you to, say, hang out in a black bar, or spend day after day working alongside illegal aliens and such.

This isn't unusual for people who read about, but don't actually experience the "diversity" of life, as you've demonstrated so often. You quite often reveal that you are just mimicking what others have decided what they hope tools like you, who can at times master big words, will echo.

If I make some white-people-with-stick-up-the-ass jokes, will you then assume I'm non-white? You're really quite easily manipulated, hon. Even by me.

ruddski
ruddski

Harley, could you provide a specific example of a contradiction you reference? Just to keep you honest.

For my fan club, I am not Jewish, I'm a Dutch Scots-Irish agnostic who supports Israel in most political instances.

As for hatred, could you tell me who, exactly, I hate, and how you came to this conclusion?

Could you explain for us how the quotes Myrna has mined free of context indicate flip flops? Which is the flip, which is the flop?

I'd be glad to help you understand discourse that for you apparently seems confusing, I have experience working with special-needs kids, the "short bus" ones as you so eloquently put it, and I'd wager that experience will be invaluable in helping you out as you try to make sense of such a complex world full of big words and such.

Ta-ta, hope to hear from you soon, and don't forget to feed the cats!

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@harleykarmadad  Very perceptive.  Stay tuned and listen to his offensive slurs against Blacks, Gays, immigrants, Hispanics, and Muslims.  It's a veritable obsession with him.

harleykarmadad
harleykarmadad

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz   i assumed when i started scanning this blog that ruddski was the token short bus antagonist.   short bus in the way that he will contradict himself/herself several times on the same topic.  the goal seems to disagree with whatever the previous poster said and to add some sort of bitchy/whorey side.  

has he/she ever come out as a jew?  is he/she shameful of being a jew?   orthodox?  

has he/she ever explained why he/she is so full of hate?  or am i just missing the joke?   

it is funny that you list samples of his flip-flopping and he responds with even more flip-flopping.   makes me wonder if he/she is a combo jew-mormon.  either way he should try to enjoy his sexuality even if it is with himself/herself.   

watashi wa no nama a wa harley des.

o no mi mono i kaga desu ka?  

ruddski
ruddski

Ok, I'm laid up in my hotel with a cold, I'll play....

----Heh, could you see a Hassidic Jew in ringlets, cap and heavy overcoat golfing on a 100+ degree Dallas Summer day?-----

Oh. My. God. Making a joke about the way many Hasidic Jews often dress, taken out of context to suggest.. exactly what?

----/Ever ride in an elevator full of hassidics on a warm summer day in Chicago?----

Oh. My. God part II. A Hasidic joke. Clearly I must be an Islamist.

----Standoffish in my experience. More so than the average Jew I've encountered - but even Jews I know describe them that way.----

My experiences upset Myrna. She would rather I have different experiences with Hasidic Jews in Chicago.

----Hard to tell, they look just like us goys, unless they're ultra-conservative. Most that I know are pretty friendly, and love making Jew jokes.---

Which of these facts upset you the most? Do you think Jews look different than Gentiles? In what way? Does Jewish predilection to humor upset you?

----Yeah, I kinda got that from studying that history. Also, Jews vote primarily democrat and it was primarily Russian Jewish immigrants who blessed America with Marxism.---

Does the history of Russian Jewish immigration to America upset you? Do Jewish voting trends upset you? They don't bother me, a strong supporter of Zionism.

As an admitted tool of Marxists in your youth, and Islamism in your spinsterhood, you should be proud of those historical Marxists, and as a democrat, Jewish voting habits of today.

Really hon, you should focus more, try and make an actual point, supported by contextual evidence. As it is, you look like a hysterical, frustrated and scatterbrained Pelosi-level intellectual poseur.

ruddski
ruddski

Myrna, you need a hobby, or a hubby.

Try disputing any facts I present.

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