AFSCME Council 18

Community Demands Sheriff Dan Houston Apologize to Women & Resign

New Mexican women stand in solidarity and demand the resignation of Sheriff Houston for his disparaging remarks and illegal actions against women

      AFSCME Members working under Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston have a list of grievances a mile long. Well aware of a disdain for the labor movement, AFSCME members mount active resistance to his clandestine efforts to diminish worker’s’ rights and voices on the job. It was not a surprise when Albuquerque Journal broke a story October 11, detailing Houston’s disparaging remarks directed at women working in his department.

      Houston admits calling women working for him. "A couple of whores." He told the Albuquerque Journal that he called another Hispanic woman a "fat slob," said a breast cancer victim couldn't have had cancer because "her breasts are too small," and another woman couldn't have been sexually harassed because she's too plain. When a Hispanic female employee blew the whistle, he fired her.

     Bernalillo County Court Specialists filed a discrimination lawsuit againsty the Sheriff and department which has been transferred to Federal Magistrate Court. Pending sexual harrasment charges against Houston’s chief deputy, EEOC charges from early 2012, and another Houston top Leutenant on a “performance improvement plan” for stalking allegations, paint a clear picture that Houston’s regime is in need of serious overhaul.

     On Friday, October 12th a group of concerned women and community members held a press conference outside of the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office and demanded the resignation of Sheriff Dan Houston. This group not only aimed to hold Sheriff Houston accountable for the remarks he has made against women, but delivered letters from community members demanding his resignation. Speakers included Dr. Martha Burk, former Chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations who led the effort to open the Augusta National Golf Club to women, and Micaela Cadena of Young Women United.

     Community members displayed a three-foot poster of Sheriff Dan Houston and the remarks he made against women and held smaller posters and signs calling for his resignation.

     "In New Mexico, we will not stand for this type of sexist and bigoted behavior by anyone, let alone our elected officials," said Marsha Garcia, Hispano Media Director with ProgressNow New Mexico. "Not only were the comments and actions made by Sheriff Dan Houston completely unacceptable, but he did this against the very people he was elected to serve and protect. We will not allow this behavior to go on one more day. We demand the resignation of Sheriff Dan Houston, Bernalillo County deserves better!"

     Considering the laundry list of grievances on Sheriff Houston’s watch, AFSCME members agree that a change in leadership in Bernalillo County Public Safety is right on target.

Background: http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2012/10/11/news/sheriff-sued-over-firing.html and http://www.progressnownm.org/blog/2012/10/a-couple-of-whores.html
 

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