Ed was elected Sheriff of Harris County, Texas on November 8, 2016. His first term, where he has continued to prioritize public safety and reform. Sheriff Gonzalez:
HCC, Chancellor, and Chair Hit with $15 Million Sexual Assault Suit
HOUSTON, TX. HCC’s legal troubles are growing. Already facing two federal racial discrimination suits filed by 100+ Black employees, the beleaguered community college and its top executives have now been hit with a graphic sexual assault suit filed by a 50-year old white female employee. The new lawsuit alleges HCC’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Robert Glaser, initiated a sexual relationship with the female employee who was experiencing difficulties with her job at the college. Glaser is alleged to have promised the female he would address issues with her supervisors and help her keep her job in exchange for sexual favors. The suit details an event where Glaser took the employee to a bar and after a few drinks, the female became incapacitated and ended up in bed without any clothes on and with sore thighs. Glaser is said to have told the female afterward that he had taken her home the night before from the bar and “made out” with her. The suit recounts even more graphic accounts of Glaser’s sexual misconduct, including his sending a video to the employee of him masturbating, calling the female employee on another occasion while he was masturbating at his house and asking her to stay on the phone until he “got off,” and yet another incident of his transporting her across state lines to travel with him to Washington, DC to an HCC-event for a sex-filled weekend at the St. Regis Hotel.
The suit alleges Glaser told the female he felt emboldened to ask her for sex because the Chancellor of the college, Cesar Maldonado was his personal friend and was himself having a similar sexual relationship with a married female employee at the college who was working under him. The Chancellor’s affair with the married employee is said to have been investigated by HCC police officers whom Chancellor Maldonado threatened to fire if the investigation proceeded without him being present during the interrogation. When the officers asked Maldonado to leave the interrogation room while they interviewed the female he refused and began coaching the female on what to say in response to the officer’s questions. The suit alleges a police report of the incident is still in the possession of the HCC police department, but it presently has an administrative block on it to try to keep it hidden.
After Plaintiff filed an EEOC complaint against HCC, Maldonado, and Glaser, she received notice from the college that her employment contract would not be renewed. She alleges school officials are now retaliating against her because she is revealing and trying to stop the sexual harassment and sexual exploitation of females at HCC.
The suit also identifies several instances of other male managers at the college sexually exploiting subordinate female employees and alleges HCC administrators under Maldonado have turned a blind eye to the abuse. The suit contends HCC has adopted a de facto custom, practice, and policy of allowing sexual exploitation of female employees by male employees who occupy powerful positions at the college and/or are perceived to be friends of Maldonado.
When asked about the lawsuit, the Plaintiff stated, “I am ashamed of what I had to go through at HCC just to try to keep my job. No woman should be asked to bargain with her dignity and self-respect to make a living. Maldonado’s and Glaser’s actions need to be seriously examined, if not by the Board of Trustees then by a jury at the courthouse.”
What FREEDOM means to me is having the ability to think what I want to think – not having to succumb to what society says I must do, but doing what I want to do. Being so self-sufficient that I don't have to compromise myself for anyone. There was once a great boxing champion who I will always admire, “The Great Muhammad Ali.” He was told that he had to conform to be champ, but Ali said, “I will be the champ like I want to be – not the champ like you want to be.” That statement has stuck with me throughout my entire life. I will forever respect him for making that statement. Whether you choose to get a degree, master a trade, have a business, climb the corporate ladder, or do what makes you whole on your own terms – you’re still just as FREE AS THE NEXT MAN! So, to me, freedom is to thine own self be true. So, earn your money, and live your life to the FULLEST!!!"
Judge Sandra J. Peake Discusses What Freedom Means to Her
JUDGE SANDRA J. PEAKE: “What does freedom mean to me? Freedom today looks much different to me than it used to. Freedom is a feeling of optimism, of the confidence that adversity can be overcome, that the people around you are able to define the dream of freedom for themselves individually, and, to be able to visualize, actualizing those dreams for themselves and their families. Freedom is reflected in a feeling of hope and empowerment in organizations that I am proud to be a member of as the organizations strive to serve the communities in which we live, raise our families, worship and work in. It also means that I can experience freedom in seeing progress. Improvements in our justice system, housing, educational achievements demonstrated by graduations at various levels, scholarship opportunities, employment opportunities, and a more equal playing field while competing for even greater opportunities. All of these things point to significant progress and greater freedoms for more people and improving the quality of life for all. Visible and steady progress towards these goals means freedom to me."
Judge Michelle Moore Discusses What Freedom Means to her
JUDGE MICHELLE MOORE: “Freedom to me means being your true authentic self. It means to live life on your terms without restrictions or being confined to what others think you should be. Freedom to me means being able to pursue your dreams and make your own life choices without the fear of condemnation.”
ANGELIQUE BARTHOLOMEW: “As an African American Female being asked what freedom means to me is a challenging question to address. Freedom symbolizes a multitude of things. As a woman, Freedom is the right to choose and control my own destiny, make choices and participate in society on any level without any ceiling. As an African American it means to be able to perform at my greatest potential and not worry that I will be judged or overlooked for my skin color and hair texture before having the chance to prove that I am great!
Freedom is not personalizing the many misconceptions that strangers or family members may have of who they envision me to be and being sure of who I AM. Being Free is in so many ways to, just be authentically you.
Freedom is continually breaking chains that have locked away my confidence; breaking my own invisible mental and emotional limitations. Freedom is learning but even more important, unlearning the ways of the world. Being on the receiving end of growth and change. Even Rosa Parks road the back of the Bus before making History. Freedom to Me is making my mark in History.”