It is going to be a blue Christmas for three former Hidalgo County Precinct 1 employees. They were fired from their positions with the precinct earlier this month following an incident on county property.
"The county has affidavits, Attorney Jaime Munoz said. Sworn affidavits from the people that did engage in the behavior that the county is complaining about and resigned. The county had this before they suspended and terminated my clients."
But still, all three were inside the break room when the alleged acts took place and did not get up and leave.
"That's the time to have your lunch and that's the area where you're supposed to have your lunch, Munoz explained. It happened in a split second and they had no time to react. This was not a planned event that said this is what'll happen at this time. You're sitting there thinking 'what is happening?' and then all of a sudden you're fired."
While Munoz would not go into the specifics of what those acts were---other media reports suggest they hired an exotic danger for a party---on county property and during the work hours.
Munoz said there is video that clearly shows what happened that day and that his clients played no part in the acts being alleged.
"There is a DVD which clearly illustrates that my clients were in the break room having their lunch, Munoz said. It clearly shows who did what, how they did it, and where they did it. Most of all it shows that my clients didn't do anything."
All three men have since filed a grievance.
Munoz added that none are suing the county"they just want their jobs back so they can continue to support their families. Hidalgo County did release a statement regarding this issue:
The County of Hidalgo confirms that five employees were separated from employment with Hidalgo County Precinct #1, earlier this year. However, the facts regarding the incident which prompted disciplinary action against the employees, as reported by the media, are not accurate or complete.
Two of the employees resigned during the investigation of an incident that took place on county property, and the remaining three were terminated subsequent to the findings of an internal investigation.
The County will not comment further, as the three terminated employees are in the process of exercising their right of appeal through the Civil Service Commission Rules process.
The County is requesting a decision from the Texas Attorney General TMs office to confirm the extent of the information that can be made public in light of the pending and potential claims related to this incident.