U.S. District Judge dismisses lawsuit against HCC by Trustee Dave Wilson
Mar 25, 2019
On Friday, March 22, United States District Judge Kenneth Hoyt dismissed a lawsuit filed against HCC by Trustee Dave Wilson in which Wilson requested money damages for alleged violations of his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Wilson alleged that his rights were violated when the Board of Trustees voted to adopt a resolution of censure against him.
The resolution, which describes Wilson’s conduct as inappropriate and reprehensible, cites violations of the college’s bylaws and states that Wilson failed to (1) respect the board’s collective decision-making process; (2) engage in open and honest discussions in making board decisions; (3) respect trustees’ differing opinions; (4) interact with trustees in a mutually respectful manner; and (5) act in Houston Community College System’s best interest.
The trustees also resolved that Wilson would be ineligible for election to a board officer position for the 2018 calendar year, ineligible for travel-related expense reimbursements for college year 2017-2018, and required to maintain board approval when requesting access to funding for community affairs programs for college year 2017-2018.
The court concluded that the resolution did not violate Wilson’s First or Fourteenth Amendment rights, because, Wilson remained free to speak publicly and to attend board meetings at which he could express his views.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling dismissing Trustee Wilson’s lawsuit and are grateful for the court’s well-reasoned decision,” stated HCC Board of Trustees Chair, Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz. “But we regret that the college has yet again been forced to expend taxpayer funds in defense of another of Trustee Wilson’s baseless lawsuits.”