Attorneys praise the strength of clients who alleged ‘systemic injustice’
DALLAS – A $1.75 million workplace sexual harassment and discrimination settlement involving several Collin County officials was finalized Monday, according to attorneys for six current and former employees of the county district attorney’s office.
The settlement resolves a 2022 federal lawsuit against Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis and First Assistant Bill Wirskye. The lawsuit alleged a pattern of ongoing workplace sexual harassment and discrimination that created a toxic work environment.
“These individuals care very deeply for each other’s well-being. That support gave them the courage to stand up for themselves, their rights, and those of their colleagues,” said their attorney Jeffrey Simon of Simon Greenstone Panatier, P.C.
The group will share equally in the settlement, which will be paid from the county’s insurance policy.
“Legislation adopted in 2021 prohibits sexual harassment settlements from being funded through public funds,” said Susan Hutchison, the group’s co-counsel, of Hutchison & Foreman, PLLC. “This settlement essentially maxed out the county’s available insurance money.”
According to the original lawsuit, Mr. Willis engaged in an ongoing pattern of sexually inappropriate actions and comments directed towards colleagues and subordinates in the DA’s office. Mr. Wirskye was alleged to have engaged in frequent vitriolic and demeaning behavior and his outbursts fueled the toxic environment.
The lawsuit was Kim Pickrell, Keith Henslee, Fallon LaFleur, Vykim Le, Jane Doe 1, and Jane Doe 2 v. Collin County, Greg Willis, Bill Wirskye, Darrell Hale, Susan Fletcher, Chris Hill, Cheryl Williams, and Duncan Webb, Case No. 3:22-cv-02425-D, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
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