Federal lawsuit involving Goliad County sheriffs ongoing

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Sept. 4, 2013 at 4:04 a.m.
Updated Sept. 5, 2013 at 4:05 a.m.

A federal employment discrimination case that pits Goliad County Sheriff Kirby Brumby against his former political opponent may go to trial on Oct. 28, attorneys say.

Former Goliad County Sheriff Robert De La Garza sued Brumby in July 2011.

De La Garza claims Brumby turned him down for the school resource officer position for political reasons, violating his First Amendment rights.

In July, attorneys argued over whether to include letters between Goliad County Attorney Rob Baiamonte and Brumby in evidence.

Although De La Garza's attorney Robert E. McKnight Jr. declined to comment, he said in a letter to Judge Gregg Costa he wanted the letters because he understood Brumby explained his opposition to the appointment of another man, Paul San Miguel, who also ran against Brumby and then applied for the resource officer position.

"They were on a fishing expedition looking for something that doesn't exist," Brumby's attorney Kevin Cullen said of McKnight's request.

Cullen argued that correspondence between Baiamonte and Brumby could not be disclosed because of attorney-client privilege.

"It (the letters McKnight was asking for) did not have to do with this case or with communications regarding this case; it had to do with communications between the attorney and the sheriff about running the business of being sheriff of Goliad County," Cullen said.

He said correspondence between Victoria County District Attorney Stephen Tyler and Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor would also be covered by attorney-client privilege.

Costa agreed with Cullen's assertion but will allow Baiamonte's deposition, Cullen said.

Attorneys have also taken the depositions of Christy Paulsgrove and Rebecca L. Walker, Goliad school district superintendent and assistant superintendent, respectively.



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