AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) -- The Texas State Troopers Association filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Greg Abbott in federal court last week, arguing the state's top lawyer is intimidating and discriminating against the nonprofit.
The TSTA filed its 20-page complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, Nov. 8.
Click here to read the full complaint.
According to the complaint, Abbott tendered an agreed final judgment and permanent injunction earlier this year. Under the judgment, which has been revised numerous times, each of the TSTA's board members and its executive director would be forced to resign their positions, among other things.
The TSTA also would face up to $1 million in fines at the hands of the attorney general.
"The terms of the proposed agreed final judgments would obliterate the leadership of this disfavored public safety labor organization, thereby breaking apart a public sector labor union and permanently enjoining their leadership's right to speak on behalf of and associate freely with TSTA and within the public safety cause, which constitutes a basis for causation of the threatened injury to plaintiffs," the complaint states.
On top of that, the organization said Abbott sent out a consumer alert in April cautioning donors before giving money to certain public safety organizations -- and specifically named the TSTA.
"Defendants are engaging in a course of intimidation and discrimination against plaintiffs based on dislike and unpopularity," the association alleges.
"This may be based on plaintiffs' support of legislation unfavorable to defendants, or plaintiffs' vigorous advocacy on behalf of member troopers, who are employees or retirees of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"Defendants' dislike of plaintiffs, however, does not give them the ability to chill constitutionally-protected rights and silence a voice of adversity."
The TSTA is a voluntary labor organization of non-supervisory commissioned officers and retirees of the DPS. However, it notes, it is not a part of the DPS or Texas state government.
The association is asking the federal court for a declaration that Abbott has violated its constitutional rights and that, as a result, it has been damaged; an order enjoining the attorney general from infringing on its constitutional rights; and an order requiring that Abbott pay all costs, interest and attorney fees.
Errol Copilevitz of Kansas City, Mo., law firm Copilevitz & Canter LLC and Austin-based attorney Gerry Morris are representing the TSTA in the case.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.