Former police corporal who sued Palmview receives $33,000 settlement
A former police corporal who sued the city of Palmview for “unlawful gender/sex discrimination” received a $33,000 settlement in November.
Palmview settled with police Cpl. Jorge Padron in November but admitted no wrongdoing.
“Mr. Padron will always appreciate the opportunity to serve and protect the residents of Palmview,” his attorney, Mauro F. Ruiz of McAllen, said in a statement.
The Progress Times filed a public information request for the settlement agreement in November. Palmview didn’t release the document until January.
The city didn’t respond to requests for comment about the settlement.
Padron graduated from Juarez-Lincoln High School and joined the Palmview Police Department in December 2010.
The job, police dispatcher, paid $9.50 per hour. During the next decade, Padron worked his way up.
Padron earned a promotion to officer in 2014, detective in 2016 and corporal in 2019, according to documents released under the Texas Public Information Act. By 2020, his pay had increased to nearly $45,000.
In December 2020, though, Padron was accused of shooting a pistol into the air while intoxicated.
The incident took place at 4 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2020, when officers responded to a call about shots fired on the 1500 block of Elm Street in Mission.
Officers confiscated a black Glock 43 pistol, six magazines and 50 rounds of ammunition, according to information released by the Mission Police Department. They also found 10 shell casings.
The Mission Police Department charged Padron with illegally discharging a firearm within city limits, a Class C misdemeanor. Padron pleaded not guilty.
Palmview fired Padron after his arrest.
Mission, however, dismissed the case against Padron in February 2022 after two witnesses said he wasn’t the person who fired the pistol.
Padron accused Palmview of discriminating against him.
“I was not given progressive discipline,” Padron wrote in a complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “Females are given progressive discipline for violating similar policies. They are NOT terminated. Some are even promoted.”
In his complaint, Padron cited two examples.
One involved a female police officer who Padron said was “written up” for violating city policies. Another involved a female Palmview Police Department clerk who had been charged with public intoxication. Both remained employed.
Padron followed up by filing a federal employment discrimination lawsuit against Palmview. The city denied the allegations.
“Defendant will show that Defendant would have taken the same action against the Plaintiff based solely on information, observation, and evidence that was not related to the Plaintiff’s alleged protected class,” attorneys for Palmview wrote in February 2022, when they responded to the lawsuit.
Palmview settled with Padron in November.
As part of the settlement, Padron received $2,500 for lost wages, about $17,200 for damages and nearly $13,300 to cover legal fees.