A lawsuit against the city of Killeen will proceed to trial following a ruling from the Bell County 146th District Court.
The city presented a request to Judge Jack Jones earlier this month to dismiss a lawsuit lodged by Barbara Gonzales, the city’s former finance director.
“We think that the judge ruled correctly given the law and the facts in this case, and we are thrilled that he did so,” said Todd Kelly, Gonzales’ attorney. “We’ll certainly be moving forward now that the judge has ruled.”
A trial date has not yet been set.
The city asked the court to dismiss the case on grounds that Gonzales’ case failed to prove reports she filed against City Manager Glenn Morrison alleging violations of finance laws during her tenure with the city were the cause of her termination.
“The city of Killeen is disappointed with the decision but remains confident in our legal position,” said Hilary Shine, city spokeswoman. “We plan to take the next step in the legal process to resolve this matter. We believe the ultimate outcome will be in our favor.”
Gonzales, who was fired in December 2012, sued the city in March 2013 under the Texas Whistleblower Act.
In her lawsuit, she claimed she was terminated for reporting violations of state and local finance laws by the city manager. She is seeking between $200,000 and $1 million in compensatory damages from the city.
Killeen denied claims the reports caused Gonzales’ termination and stated she was fired as a result of a two-month internal investigation into the city’s Fleet Services Division, which Gonzales oversaw.
She was fired following the investigation.
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