Documents detail misconduct of TxDOT employees using racist language and groping women
ABILENE, Texas —
For the past several months, KTXS News has collected the records of employees from the Texas Department of Transportation's Abilene office who have been disciplined for creating a toxic work environment for women and people of color.
There were four administrative reports obtained by KTXS News by using an open records request that detailed unprofessional behavior.
The documents revealed what TxDOT administrators found to be troubling behavior over the last four years that led to three male employees being fired and another male employee resigning during an administrative investigation into his wrongdoing.
KTXS News has spent the last few months making several attempts to get an on-camera interview with a TxDOT representative concerning the administrative reports, but the agency declined to participate.
Leroy Soria, a former traffic systems supervisor in Abilene, was fired for sexual harassment in November of 2014.
According to the TxDOT report, Soria would purposely rub himself against women and some women said that he made them feel "creepy."
One woman requested a transfer to another office so that she "could remove herself from him."
Soria also reportedly made women who turned him down for a lunch date uncomfortable, and in one instance, he became "furious" and angrily ranted, according to the report.
TxDOT's website has 266 employees listed for its Abilene office, which covers 13 counties.
Edward Hart was another Abilene-based TxDOT employee that was investigated for sexual harassment.
A February 2015 report detailed allegations of Hart creating a toxic work environment for women.
Hart was the warehouse coordinator at the time of the report.
According to documents, Hart would touch his female colleagues inappropriately.
One woman said that Hart brushed his hands against her chest to remove dirt and she told Hart that he crossed the line, yet he claimed that he was just being nice.
Hart also reportedly carried nude photos of himself on his cell phone, which he would show to his female colleagues.
Hart resigned "in lieu of discipline" for sexual harassment.
A 2017 human resources report showed a history of employees that were working at the TxDOT Nolan County maintenance office using racist language.
Kenneth Terry was one of six employees based in Nolan County disciplined for "concerns regarding sexual harassment, other harassment based on a protected class."
However, unlike his other colleagues who either received reprimands or were demoted, Terry was fired in January of 2017.
Several employees alleged that Terry talked about sex at work and grabbed women's behinds, according to the report.
Documents also showed that employees in Nolan County used the "n-word" and a derogatory term used to describe people of Mexican descent.
As recently as May of this year, an employee based in Haskell County was fired for sexual harassment.
Jesse Kruger was a general transportation technician and he reportedly asked several female employees for their phone numbers.
Kruger's supervisor had to warn him to stop with his inappropriate behavior.
Kruger admitted to liking younger girls and he was known to be involved with a 19-year-old female who was in high school, according to the report.