DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins released the following details regarding Zachary Thompson, who was fired on January 3 amid multiple sexual harassment complaints.
Jenkins explained the public funds government and has a right to the following information:
“In early December 2017, Dallas County Human Resources Director Urmit Graham received a complaint against DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson. Mr. Graham spoke with the complainant and referred the matter to Commissioners Court Administrator Darryl Martin.
On December 22, 2017, I received a letter via email to me and HR Director Graham from the attorney for the complainant. This was the first notice I had of this complaint or the allegations. My office immediately forwarded that letter to the Civil Section of the District Attorney’s office.
The matter was then placed on the next Commissioners Court agenda (January 2, 2018) to be discussed in Executive Session. Information about the complaint involving Mr. Thompson was relayed to me and other Court members in that session. The January 2 session was the first time county staff provided information to me about the complaint involving Mr. Thompson.
Dallas County policy states, “All employees of the county are entitled to a workplace free of unlawful harassment by management, co-workers and vendors.” Furthermore, it is the policy of Dallas County that: “All employees are required to cooperate with the investigation.”
Immediately after the January 2 court session, I had a meeting with Mr. Martin, Mr. Graham, and county attorneys. We discussed the concern that there did not appear to be cooperation from Mr. Thompson in that he reportedly would not discuss the allegations made against him when asked by Court Administration.
Later that same day, Mr. Martin sent a text to Mr. Thompson and again asked him to categorically deny an allegation in the complaint that was a serious, clear, and unambiguous violation of county policy. Mr. Thompson again declined to do so.
The following day, Mr. Martin spoke to Mr. Thompson via telephone and informed Mr. Thompson that he would be receiving a termination letter effective January 3, 2018.”
In 2012, Thompson launched a public awareness effort to combat the West Nile Virus which killed 13 people that year.
In 2014, he calmed public fears over an Ebola outbreak after a man from Liberia died of the disease while visiting relatives in Dallas and infected to nurses.
Thompson became director in 2003.