Former assistant to district attorney says she was wrongfully fired

By Mark Boyle - Reporter

HOUSTON - A former assistant to the Harris County district attorney says she was wrongfully fired.

Denise Garcia had been an administrative assistant at the Harris County district attorney's office for about six years until she was fired.

She and her attorney spoke Thursday about why they think she was wrongfully terminated late in 2014.

"They just told me that I was terminated due to the investigation, that's all that I was told, that's the only thing," said Garcia.

Garcia says he was in her car with her boyfriend and two young kids headed to the hospital for a checkup. She was driving along TC Jester near Interstate 10 when a police officer pulled her over and demanded she be searched. She says she was handcuffed, searched and later released.

When she returned to work a few days later, she filed a formal complaint against the police officers involved.

She admits she told the officers who pulled her over that she did not want to be searched and she claims they did anyway regardless without cause.

"We are filing the complaint because (Garcia) was retaliated against," said Garcia's attorney, Randall Kallinen. "Because she exerted her constitutional right not to be searched and to file a complaint with the Houston Police Department."

"This happened on a Friday," said Garcia. "On Monday, during my lunch, I went to the internal affairs and I filed a complaint against the police officers…Thursday, I was called into the office and they told me they were going to do an investigation into the traffic stop."

The spokesperson for District Attorney Devon Anderson said Anderson stands behind the decision and issued a statement that said, in part, "Based on the results of this investigation, we determined that Ms. Garcia had violated office policy."

KPRC 2 wanted to know what 'office policy' was broken but because this case is in litigation, no one would answer that question.         

Meanwhile, Garcia says she just wants her job back.

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