Former Port Arthur Housing Authority maintenance director Joe Guillory is looking forward to a court date in Jefferson County now that a district court judge has ruled that the ousted employee’s wrongful termination suit against the PAHA can move forward with trial July 15,2013.
According to a ruling Friday, Jan. 18, in Judge Bob Wortham’s Jefferson County 58th District Court, Guillory’s motion to have the court hear arguments relating to a retaliatory firing from the PAHA publicly-funded entity this summer will proceed as requested. Attorneys from PAHA had requested more time to prepare for the case, but were denied.
“It feels good to know that we’re finally moving forward,” Guillory told The Examiner.
Guillory’s legal counsel, David Bernsen, said PAHA’s fiduciary duty to the public makes this case a public concern. Administrators from the PAHA are accused of misappropriating roughly $6 million over the last two years. As investigators from the federal government were looking into finding the missing money, Guillory answered questions and gave compelling information to investigators, which ultimately led to scathing reports filed by the Office of the Inspector General – HUD Division alleging PAHA financial mismanagement. In short succession, Guillory was terminated from employment at PAHA.
“This is not just for Joe (Guillory), but for all the citizens who depend on the Port Arthur Housing Authority to provide a public service,” Bernsen said. “Joe knows. He has known from the beginning that this was not just about him. He has had to bear the wrath of the agency, losing his job, but this goes much bigger than even that.”