A former Texas deputy constable has been awarded more than $550,000 in damages and back pay after filing a lawsuit against his former boss for sexual harassment.
According to reports, Galveston County Constable Pam Matranga repeatedly forced herself on Galveston County Deputy Constable James Gist over a period of time. In one specific incident, Matranga allegedly put her shirt over Gist’s head, forcing him to motorboat her.
“[She was] grabbing her breasts and saying, ‘here, hold these,’” claimed Gist. “She walked up behind me and pulled her shirt over my head and held me kind of in a headlock with her shirt.”
Gist also alleges that Matranga repeatedly offered him oral sex in the workplace and even joked about performing at strip clubs while simulating a lap dance, the latter of which Matranga confessed to. The man says that he never led Matranga on or reciprocated in any way, and at one point, he put a hidden camera on his desk to catch her in the act. According to claims, Matranga eventually found the video, deleted it, and reported Gist to the District Attorney for wiretapping. Gist was forced to resign from his position for planting the camera, but he vowed to go after Matranga for what she had done. Matranga, to this day, denies any wrongdoing.
“I never sexually harassed anyone,” said Matranga in a statement. “I would never intentionally hurt anyone. I have never tampered with evidence in my whole nineteen years with the county.”
In the end, a jury unanimously sided with Gist and awarded him $550,000. Matranga is no longer county constable after she lost a 2012 reelection bid.
"It was about sex, and it was about power," said Anthony Griffin, Gist’s attorney. "The only way she could engage in such conduct is because of that badge on her blouse."
Reports claim that Matranga was forced to undergo sexual harassment training following Gist’s initial accusations.