EDINBURG — Edinburg City Councilman David White has filed a lawsuit claiming the city discriminated against him on the basis of his race or age when he was demoted from his position as police chief in 2018, according to documents filed earlier last week.
White, 53, was demoted in November 2018 by Edinburg City Manager Juan Guerra, who determined White’s performance was “unsatisfactory” based on public safety rankings found on websites like wallethub.com. Guerra has since left the city.
“Mr. White’s demotion was based on false reasons. According to City Manager Juan Guerra, Mr. White was demoted due to low public safety rankings. These rankings were published on questionable websites,” court documents filed last week say. “Mr. Guerra also demoted Mr. White based on a “disconnect between leadership and staff as well as management’s ineffective use of resources to motivate and develop a functioning team.”
In his suit, filed on May 20, White alleges he was demoted on the basis of his race and age. His replacement, Chief Cesar Torres, is of Mexican-American descent and younger than White, the documents read.
“The City of Edinburg, by and through Mr. Guerra, demoted Mr. White because he is Anglo/Caucasian and part of a protected class (age 53),” White’s original petition stated.
These documents say that White filed a charge of discrimination with the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division on or about Jan. 10 of last year.
They say he received the dismissal and notice of right to file a civil action from the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division in April.
According to the documents, White anticipates that the amount of damages he will request the jury to assess will be between $200,000 and $1 million.
Neither White nor the city responded to a request for comment by press time.