Protesters want Williamson County to settle lawsuit - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Protesters want Williamson County to settle lawsuit

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The Williamson County commissioners court meeting was packed Tuesday morning. Dozens of residents showed up to let their voices be heard regarding a pending lawsuit against the commissioners court.

Also in attendance was Robert Lloyd, the man who filed the suit through the Texas Civil Rights Project.

In March, Lloyd was interviewed by the commissioners for a constable job. During the interview he says he was asked about religion and politics along with his opinions on gay marriage and abortion.

"This blatantly violates not only the U.S. Constitution, but the Texas constitution," says Texas Civil Rights Project attorney Wayne Krause Yang. "It's illegal to ask religious means test questions, to ask somebody's political views."

Residents told commissioners they thought that line of questioning was not only illegal, but insulting.

"Equally if not more troubling is the perception that you were intent on hiring only someone who shares your religious and ideological beliefs. Job qualifications didn't seem to be much of a priority," said one resident who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Lloyd is seeking damages for lost wages, past and future earnings and for mental anguish. Williamson County residents are angry that the county hired an outside attorney to handle the case and want commissioners to settle.

"They already have internal lawyers. Why are they spending more of our taxpayer money again?" asked Jose Orta. "I think they should just admit they made a mistake, an error of judgment, settle the lawsuit and move on."

Residents are also asking the county to take steps to make sure this doesn't happen with another candidate. "All we want is for commissioners to institute a policy preventing illegal interview questions in the future and to do some in depth training for themselves and staff," Krause Yang told FOX 7.

The lawsuit was on a long list of items the commissioners may have discussed behind closed doors Tuesday. Williamson County officials would not comment on the lawsuit.

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