Six individuals who currently work or have worked in the Collin County District Attorney’s office filed a federal civil suit Monday, alleging that they were sexually harassed, discriminated against because of their gender, and faced retaliation after reporting the allegations about their boss and his top lieutenant.
The suit names Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis, his first assistant Bill Wirskye, Collin County Judge Chris Hill, and county commissioners Susan Fletcher, Darrell Hale, Cheryl Williams, and Duncan Webb. The suit was filed by the district attorney’s chief investigator, Kim Pickrell; deputy chief investigator Keith Henslee; former misdemeanor prosecutor Fallon LaFleur; prosecutor VyKim Le; and two plaintiffs identified as Jane Doe.
The suit alleges that Willis sexually harassed female employees then retaliated against them. It says he repeatedly made sexual comments and inappropriately touched them. The lawsuit also alleges that Willis propositioned the women for sex during work trips and during regular closed-door meetings. It also claims that Wirskye routinely hazed female employees.
Le said that Willis had touched her inappropriately on at least two occasions, and the two unnamed plaintiffs recounted instances of unwanted touching and propositioning. After Pickrell and Henslee went to Wirskye with their concerns, the lawsuit alleges he retaliated by complaining about their performance.
Wirskye is also accused of referring to groups of prosecutors profanely, and called female prosecutors “bitches, whores, and sluts.” Henslee, Le, and LaFleur all recounted instances where Wirskye was allegedly retaliatory or crass.
The county commissioners were included because they “have known of this misconduct for years but have continued to enable it by refusing to take remedial action or even conduct a reasonable investigation.” A spokesperson for the county said it would not comment on pending litigation.
In addition to filing the lawsuit, the plaintiffs say they have also filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission.
Both Willis and Wirskye deny the allegations, insisting the suit was motivated by politics.
“The citizens of Collin County deserve better than these dishonest and politically motivated attacks that waste time and money,” Willis said. “I categorically and unequivocally deny these false allegations. They did not happen.”
“This is obviously a politically motivated and politically timed lawsuit based on lies and recycled untruths by some very disgruntled and very troubled individuals,” Wirskye said. “I can’t wait to get into court and clear my name.”
Willis’ attorney, Rogge Dunn, said that there is a “mountain of evidence” disproving what is alleged in the suit. “These complaints are sour grapes by some disgruntled former and current employees who had performance issues,” he added.
Both Willis and his wife, State District Judge Jill Willis, are running unopposed in the November election. Hill faces Democratic candidate Joshua Murray. All three are Republicans.