When the state Legislature passed the Texas Whistleblower Act in 1983, lawmakers and citizens lauded it as an important step in protecting those who risk their careers, families and sometimes their lives to expose government waste and corruption.

Now, more than 30 years after the law’s passage, legal experts say weaknesses in the state law prevent it from protecting employees and taxpayers. Discrepancies between the state whistleblower law and city procedures, experts say, make it even more difficult for municipal employees to report wrongdoing.

Contact Holden Wilen at hwilen@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7463​

Contact Lauren Dodd at ldodd@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7568

Contact Clay Thorp at cthorp@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7552​

(10) comments

SoGladImGone

I'm an ex-employee of the City of Killeen. I quit earlier this year.

Between the corrupt leadership, cronyism, masquerading, fault - finding for excellence, and generally unfair practices, it was time to go.

Glenn Morrison is not the only corrupt City of Killeen leader who warrants investigation.

I'm sad, yes. But God always has the last word.

Informed Taxpayer

I have been watching this story unfold in the paper during the past few years and I have to say that I am very upset that Mr. Morrison has not been fired for the way he has run the City of Killeen. I know a few employees of the city of Killeen. If even half of the stories I’ve been told about Mr. Morrison are true, I am concerned about the fate of the city’s future, as well as about the message this sends to the city employees, regarding the type of behavior that gets rewarded in the city and the absence of respect city management, including the council, shows for its employees.

If the city council members do not investigate Mr. Morrison for his wrong doings and hold him accountable, a recall election is not only reasonable for those members, it’s needed.

Max167

It's good to see that sometimes it works out, but unfortunately for the taxpayers, Killeen seems to prefer to spend a lot of money (taxpayer money) to exhaust the resources of conscientious employees who try to do the right thing. The tax payers end up losing twice (the cost of the law firms and the fact that they don't get to learn about the city manager's transgressions). And since Glenn keeps breaking the laws and wasting taxpayer money, he's the gift that keeps on giving.

skardell

I was the original counsel in the Weatherspoon. Case illustrates the shortcomings of the law. These cases can be successfully resolved, however, even if your client is a high profile whistleblower, and the defendant is a public entity with a reputation for fighting these types of cases to the bitter end. Google "DISD-Don Smith-settlement-Kardell" or click here: [link removed]

(Edited by staff.)

Citizen360

This is a perfect example of "the system" failing the taxpayers. The truth gets pushed aside by "smoke and mirrors" and still no one has answered the questions and concerns posed by Mrs. Gonzales. What could justify spending $10k+ on a dinner? Why does City staff and City Council continue to ignore a budget with numerous deficits within? The City continues to rob Peter to pay Paul by moving funds from various enterprise funds to subsidize the General Fund all because we make bad decisions to spend money that we don't have. Example, the 8% raise to KPD knowing well that the General Fund could not satisfy such an increase. Or spending a million dollars to renovate a building which was bought with the intent to demolish? Or spending five million for a fire station with no personnel. We can do better and the citizens of Killeen deserve better. To current councilmembers who voted to approve this budget (filled with deficits) without an in depth review and without reviewing side by side with the Comprehensive Plan, shame on you.

Max167

Someone should also look very seriously at the numbers.

The Water and Sewer Ending Fund Balance was $24,489,299 in October when he placed Former Director of Finance, Barbara Gonzales, on admin. leave - as opposed to the latest financial statements (which seem very past due), reflecting a balance of $14,691,916 as of of 8/31/2015. A drop in the W & S fund of almost TEN MILLION dollars.

The General Fund ending Fund Balance was $21,353,694 in October 2012, meeting fund balance policy versus the 8/31/15 balance of $18,574,421 not including encumbrances - which does NOT meet the fund balance policy.

There may be additional risks to Mr. Morrison's "reign." Is no one watching anything he does?

Pete

I wonder why this "fox guarding the henhouse" scenario (Whistleblower having to report to auditor who reports to City Manager who then fires Whistleblower) didn't get changed during the city charter review a couple of years ago. Is this part of the charter? If it is part of the charter, was it made available for public review/comment? I seem to remember not everything in the charter was open to public/review comment, although I may be wrong.

Like most everything in Texas, their is a loophole for the people in power to stay there, even if everyone knows dirty things are going on.

Tell me why city employees', lives are more important than the lives of the citizens they swear to serve. The tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars recently spent on "security" to city buildings, while the average citizen has to take their chances at work because their place of employment don't have access to the bottomless pockets of city (taxpayer) funds.

Oh well, can't fight city hall. Why? Cause they'll outspend you! Public Servants? Yeah right! Self Servants first and public servants when they feel like it.

Concerned Citizen

It's a shame that the review board that recommended Gonzales be reinstated couldn't also recommend that Glenn be introduced to the door. He should have been investigated and terminated, since there is cause to get rid of him. It's not too late for that. I believe his IQ might also start with a decimal point. And he probably thinks that's a good thing.

Vets Count

Every time I turn around I hear of more bad acts on the part of our infamous city manager. From the illegal raise he gave to Ms. Shine, who commented on the lawsuit as if she didn't have a dog in this fight. He required the finance director to break the rules - rules intended to protect our taxpayers and the city's funds. Now I'm hearing of bids that don't comply w/ state laws. What's next? Maybe I'm old because I'm having a hard time remembering why he's still here.

Max167

Glenn Morrison's wrongdoings have been plentiful and public; costly both with respect to the city's reputation and taxpayer funds. With his illegal actions having been reported for a minimum of two years - far longer than that if you consider the Megian Douglas fiasco (his employee/girl friend that he had to fire and pay off w/ taxpayer monies - see the old KDH articles), why has he not been investigated?

Countless illegal acts surfaced from this lawsuit and rather than risk his dirt becoming more public - actions that were so egregious he would've been held accountable for them had they come to light, he had the city shell out an unbelievable amount of $ to private law firms to keep it quiet, resulting in the only person who had the taxpayers' interest at heart all along, Ms. Gonzales, having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to make his actions known to the public.

Glenn was not investigated. If he had been, he likely would've been fired, which would've been in the best interest of the tax payers.

The person who should've been commended and rewarded for her actions was wrongly and unjustly punished. The guy with the moral integrity of a vulture was rewarded with a raise. He needs to go and Ms. Gonzales should be reinstated, as was recommended by the Personnel Review Board. What does it take for something to be done?

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