Laptop and pen


Hessam Parzivand May 30, 2015

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Author : Catherine Dominguez

Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack denied accusations that he discriminated against former female employees stating several could not meet his expectations and accountability standards, which led to their terminations or resignations from his office.

“When I took office in January 2013, I raised the bar, not by an inch but by a mile,” Noack read from a prepared statement during a called press conference Friday morning at his office. “I set high expectations and demanded accountability. These new standards applied to all employees, current and future. While it was my hope that all employees would embrace these principles, some simply wanted to maintain the status quo.

“Some retired and some were fired, but none were discriminated against.”

Noack, who appeared visibly nervous, held the press conference in response to two complaints filed with the county by one former employee and one current one whom he is alleged to have discriminated against. He said the press conference would be “my only public comment on the matter.”

Citing advice from the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office, Noack did not take any questions from the media at the press conference. He called the accusations “blatantly false” and “politically motivated.”

Terrilynn Macarthur and JoDell Whitehead filed complaints with the county and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission April 10 and May 20, respectively. According to Houston-based attorney Hessam Parzivand, two more former employees have filed affidavits claiming discrimination and supporting the claims of Macarthur and Whitehead.

Noack stated since he took office, he has reviewed every aspect of Precinct 3, including employees, equipment and operations.

“The focus was to build on the successes of the past while transforming the office, equipment and personnel to best reflect the needs of the future,” he said. “The end goal was to create a proactive, taxpayer-centric organization which increases productivity and plans for the future while minimizing costs.”

He added all the actions he took were coordinated with the Montgomery County Human Resources Department.

“Since taking office, I have hired nine females, promoted three females to management roles, and proudly employ 17 females,” he said. “There has not been, nor will there ever be, discrimination of any type under my watch.

“I will vigorously defend my actions and those of my staff regarding any accusation of discrimination. These allegations are blatantly false. I believe such allegations are politically motivated.”

Noack has hired a total of 14 people since taking office, according to Dody Shaw, director of Human Resources for the county. He has a total of 51 employees.

Parzivand said Noack’s statement didn’t provide any factual evidence regarding why the commissioners believes the discrimination allegations are false.

“Noack refers to the number of women he hired and promoted in his statement, but he doesn’t mention that JoDell Whitehead, one of the women he both hired and gave a raise to, is asserting discrimination claims against him,” Parzivand said. “While alleging political motives for these claims, Noack also failed to mention that Whitehead was his fundraising chairperson when he was seeking to be elected."

Parzivand questioned why Noack did not take the opportunity to apologize for a recent Facebook post.

“It is telling that Noack failed to use this opportunity to apologize publicly for his Facebook post deriding female Doyal/Riley campaign workers, nor did he attempt to correct his characterization of that post as ‘political satire’ in his statement today,” he said.

On May 21, Noack posted a comment to his personal Facebook page regarding the Texas Conservative Tea Party Coalition. The post stated, “The fake tea party, created to aid the failing Doyal/Riley campaigns is having an unintended consequence. Because they have hired workers to pass out their ballot, Twin Peaks is understaffed!!! Expect longer waits.....”

Noack removed the post that evening and posted a new comment saying the comment was not intended to offend anyone.