AUSTIN (AP) – Racism and discrimination allegations are troubling the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, where employees bemoaned “a legacy of intolerance” in a report commissioned by the agency.
Only 1 percent of game wardens in the 50-year history of Texas’ parks agency have been black. State officials acknowledge failures with recruiting minorities, but a lawsuit and concern from black Texas lawmakers has quietly escalated the issue in recent months.
In March, a black female cadet left the state’s game warden academy after alleging discrimination. Brukendra Jackson filed a complaint Wednesday with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
State parks spokeswoman Lydia Saldana says minority hiring is a “business imperative” for the agency. The state has spent more than $100,000 on outside reports to examine minority hiring and internal allegations of racism.
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