Former TSU police chief
files whistleblower suit
was dismissed in January
Cougar News Staff
A former Texas Southern University police
chief is suing the university, alleging that the administration dismissed
him in retaliation for reporting a violation by a fellow employee of the
Cordell Lindsey filed the whistleblower
suit in Harris County district court after he was terminated for starting
an investigation on TSU special events director Tiffany Thompson.
The suit alleges that the criminal investigation
started when Thompson reported an alleged theft from her office on campus
to the TSU police department.
"During the investigation, Lindsey discovered
information that led him to suspect that Tiffany Thompson had deposited
the missing funds in her own bank account and reported the funds as missing
to hide the theft," the suit reads.
Lindsey began consulting with the Harris
County District Attorney's Office at the beginning of the case. After several
meetings with assistant district attorneys, a grand jury subpoena was obtained.
It was served on Lydia Borbin, who was the interim TSU human resources
director at the time, in order to obtain the name of Thompson's bank.
A second subpoena was later acquired and
served on Thompson's bank for her records, the suit states.
The suit alleges that Thompson complained
to Elizabeth Rodriguez, TSU's in-house legal counsel, and to TSU President
The actions spurred a meeting, the suit
continues, in which concern was expressed that the investigation was "harassing"
Lindsey was also asked if he had "cleared"
the subpoenas with TSU officials before they were issued and served. The
suit argues that in 13 other instances, Lindsey had not been required to
obtain approval from the administration.
After several meetings, on Jan. 26, Lindsey
was called into his supervisor's office and handed a memo, which terminated
his employment for violating "investigative protocols."
Lindsey was hired by TSU as a police officer
in August of 1990. He was promoted to sergeant, lieutenant and then, in
March of 1998, to chief of police.
The suit states that more than 61 days
have elapsed since Lindsey started an internal grievance process at TSU
and that the filing of the lawsuit terminates that grievance process.