HARRIS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – A Texas prosecutor has resigned after allegedly sharing a controversial post on social media.
Kaylynn Williford, a trial bureau chief in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, left her position after a Facebook account linked to her shared a post from the page ‘America’s Mom’ that compared protesters demonstrating against police brutality and systemic racism to Nazis.
The post read: “Wedding bands that were removed from Holocaust victims prior to being executed, 1945. Each ring represents a destroyed family. Never forget, Nazis tore down statues. Banned free speech. Blamed economic hardships on one group of people. Institute gun control. Sound familiar?”
In an email to employees, Harris County DA Kim Ogg wrote: “When speech made in the privacy of ones home or on social media contradicts our core values, we take action.
While not our intent to involve ourselves in employees personal lives, when their social media or private actions publicly contradict and violate this office’s policies, the law allows us as an employer to investigate and implement graduated sanctions ranging from education and counseling up to termination.”
Tom Berg is a former Harris County first prosecutor who now works as a defense attorney. He said, “I got to know Kaylynn pretty well. She was one of the most talented lawyers in the office. I trusted her in court to do the right thing, and I don’t think there was any indication that in any of her court related decisions that there was any hint of racism.”
Berg says the district attorney’s office is like many private employers and has written policies surrounding a person’s presence on social media. “You can’t make those comparisons, so it was just wrong in every way,” he said. “And to hint that it was related to Black Lives Matter, in this day and time, I can’t understand why she did it.”
Williford issued a statement where she said she shared the post because she thought it, “… was thought provoking and promoted tolerance.” As for the allegations that she compared Black Lives Matter to the Nazis Williford said, “Nothing could be further from the truth, but I have been judged and condemned on a shared post. That thought never crossed my mind.”
Williford apologized after saying that she never meant anything malicious in sharing the post but that she sees now, “… how it could be interpreted as hurtful, but again, that was never my intent.”
DA Ogg said the office will be providing employees with further training and guidance on implicit bias, workplace standards, policies and practices.