An attorney who formerly worked for the Texas Health & Human Services Commission (THHSC) has sued the agency and its executive commissioner, alleging he was wrongfully terminated in April after he “spoke out on topics of public concern and/or what he believed in good faith to be a violation of the law by THHSC.”
According to the July 3 original petition in F. Michael McMillen v. Texas Health & Human Services Commission and Thomas M. Suehs, McMillen alleges that he spoke in June of 2011 about topics of public concern in a manner that constitutes protected free speech activity under the Texas Constitution. He also alleges that in December 2011 he reported in good faith what he believed to be violations of the law at THHSC to the agency’s Inspector General’s Office and it chief counsel. The petition does not provide any specifics about what McMillen spoke about or what the alleged violations of the law were. He alleges he was terminated from his job on April 27, 2012.
McMillen did not return a call seeking comment. His attorney, Philip Durst, a partner in Austin’s Deats Durst Owen & Levy, declines comment about the case, as does Tom Kelley, a spokesman for the Texas Attorney General’s Office, which represents THHSC and Suehs in the case.
--- John Council