Conroe, May 17 – Highly respected Ann Carr, the former Chief to Staff to Montgomery County Judge Alan B. Sadler, spoke openly about the sexual harassment by Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts for the first time since she retired from office. Carr made the comments yesterday on social media in response to some other expressions of concern regarding the JP who is seeking a promotion to Precinct 4 County Commissioner even though he has a terrible record of sexual harassment in his current County office.
As The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper has previously reported, a court employee who reported to Metts by the name of Delonna Snow, refused Metts’ sexual advances on numerous occasions inside the JP court office. On at least one occasion, Metts threatened to hit Snow for not having sex with him. Eventually, Metts fired Snow as a County employee for her refusal to have sex with Metts, her boss. The County’s taxpayers paid $45,000 in March, 2014, to settle Snow’s lawsuit against the County government for wrongful termination and sexual harassment in violation of federal law.
Ann Carr, had served as the Chief of Staff to Judge Sadler during the period when Snow brought her sexual harassment allegations against Metts. Carr explained her version of the events as follows:
“Since I was there when it happened and the victim came to me with her story, I can give you first hand information as she related it to me. James Metts hired her as his court coordinator when he was elected. Ms. Snow had worked for JP#1 for over 10 years prior to being hired by the new JP#4, James Metts.
“She was single and Metts began to pursue her with gifts and promises to enhance her job with salary increases. As time moved on, his attention became more aggressive and personal to the point that she felt threatened with the loss of her job if she didn’t attend political events with him as his date, (so to speak). He continued with sexual remarks and would call her into his private office and make advances toward her.
“When it was brought to his attention that she had complained about his conduct he laughed it off and said he was kidding around with her.
“Then the situation got nasty and she filed a complaint with state authorities, because the only people that can take action against an elected official is the people that elect them on a local level of government.
“Ms. Snow went through years of harrassment and eventually won her case, and Mr. Metts was ordered to pay her approximately one years salary in the settlement ($45,000). Mr. Metts did not personally pay this judgment; the taxpayers did.
That is the true story and it was widely known by the people who worked in his office, the County Attorney’s Office and, of course, Commissioners Court.”
- Since May 2004, Snow “was subjected to harassment of a sexual nature by her immediate supervisor [Metts].”
- “Among other things, the supervisor [Metts] discussed his sex life in…[Snow’s] presence and told jokes of a sexual nature.”
- After Snow “complained of the harassment and continued to reject the advances of her immediate supervisor [Metts], he began systematically retaliating against her, ultimately terminating her employment.”
- In 2004, Metts initially asked Snow “for dates, offered her gifts and money and created the impression among other staff that he and…[Snow] were romantically involved.”
- Snow alleged that on the occasion when she “rejected his advances and refused his offer of money, he threatened to hit her.”
- “The harassment stopped for a period after she complained, but started up again and intensified in August and September 2006.”
- Metts “created a sexually hostile work environment by discussing his sex life in the presence of…[Snow], as well as other staff, and telling jokes of a sexual nature.”
- Snow would tell Metts “that his comments were more information then [sic] she needed to know, refuse to participate in those discussions or leave the area.”
- “Documentary evidence obtained during the investigation shows that Respondent [Montgomery County] failed to follow policy when…[Snow] was issued a Third Level disciplinary action and subjected to immediate termination of employment…” because Snow never received First or Second level disciplinary actions, a violation of the Montgomery County Employment Policy in place at the time.
- Montgomery County admitted to EEOC that “the termination of…[Snow] was initiated and carried out by” Metts.
- “Therefore, based on the analysis of the evidence, the Commission concludes that the evidence obtained during the investigation establishes that Respondent violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended with respect to Delonna Snow’s allegations of sex discrimination and retaliation.”
- “Therefore, based on the analysis of the evidence, the Commission concludes that the evidence obtained during the investigation establishes that Respondent violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended with respect to Delonna Snow’s allegations of sex discrimination and retaliation.” – United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- Snow began working full-time as Metts’ Court Coordinator in September, 2003.
- Snow had worked for 12 years for Precinct 1 without incident prior to working for Metts.
- “Beginning in May 2004…[Snow] became aware of the perception that she was Judge Metts’ girlfriend and that they were romantically involved…That perception was reinforced by Judge Metts’ action and comments towards Ms. Snow and about her…In addition, on one occasion, Judge Metts refused to attend a Rotary Club dinner unless…[Snow] agreed to accompany him to the dinner, which was held in May 2004…During May and June 2004, Judge Metts increased his romantic advances towards Ms. Snow, as well as his efforts to pry into…[Snow’s] personal life.”
- Judge Metts started asking Snow “questions about who she was dating, and continually asked her to go out with him.”
- “Judge Metts tried to give…[Snow] gifts along with his attempts to get her to go out with him on a date.”
- “On more than one occasion Judge Metts tried to give Plaintiff ‘spending’ money, which Plaintiff always refused.”
- “On one occasion when…[Snow] refused to take Judge Metts’ money, Judge Metts became agitated and threatened to strike…[Snow].”
- Snow complained to co-employee Jerry Sue Hayden, the mother of Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden, and to Judge Metts’ campaign manager, Marc Davenport. After Davenport arranged a brief leave of absence for Snow, when Snow returned to the office “Judge Metts became more flirtatious and continued to require Ms. Snow to attend public events with him outside normal business hours.”
- Metts’ advances continued and intensified into 2005, but in August 2005, “Judge Metts began excluding…[Snow] from staff meetings, even though…[Snow] was the office administrator.”
- Metts continued making inappropriate sexual comments to Snow even after she got engaged in November, 2005.
- Judge Metts finally found a girlfriend. “He would often tell the particulars of his relationship with Diane Rogers to Marsha Edwards (another Precinct 4 employee) in open areas of the office.”
- “During 2006, Judge Metts continued to tell inappropriate stories about his sex life and jokes of a sexual nature at the office and within earshot of the employees…Ms. Snow continued to leave the area or in some instances tell Judge Metts that his comments were more information than she needed to know.”
- “Judge Metts’ discussions about sex with his girlfriend intensified in August and September 0f 2006.”
- “In October 2006, Ms. Rogers, Judge Metts’ girlfriend, was hired to work as the Juvenile Case Manger [sic].”
- Later that month, Metts reduced Snow’s duties and changed the locks at his office, so that Snow no longer had a key to the office.
- After attempting some pretexts to complain about Snow’s work, all of which Judge Metts’ Chief of Staff Brian Stanley determined were unfounded, Metts terminated Snow on November 30, 2006, without any First or Second Level Disciplinary action in violation of County policy.
- Snow sued the County government for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation under Title VII.