One suit concerned discrimination charge by a former employee

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Alice City Council voted to settle two lawsuits Thursday night, including one brought by a former city employee who alleged he was discriminated against because of his age, race and gender, and then was retaliated against when he complained to his supervisors.

The lawsuit was originally filed by former employee Israel Gomez in July 2006.

In his lawsuit, Gomez stated that after he was hired by the city in 1999 he filed two charges of discrimination with the Texas Workforce Commission alleging age discrimination as well as pay, race and gender discrimination.

Gomez indicated in court documents the city responded "with outright hostility" toward him after he filed the complaints and harassed him "continually and deliberately."

Attempts to resolve those issues by contacting the mayor, city council members and the city attorney were unsuccessful, according to the lawsuit.

On Thursday, the city council voted to approve a $25,000 settlement on the suit, which will be paid through the city's insurance.

The second lawsuit the council voted to settle Thursday was brought by R&H Oil, concerning the Tropicana Superfund Site.

Alice was one of a number of cities included in the lawsuit, which addressed the alleged illegal dumping of motor oil by a company to which the city sold used motor oil in 1982. The total settlement for the suit was $10,160.91, city officials said, and will be paid from the city budget.