A Denton County assistant district attorney is suing her employer and some co-workers in a federal racial discrimination lawsuit.
Nadiya Williams-Boldware has been an assistant district attorney with Denton County for the past three years. Williams-Boldware said another assistant district attorney made comments last April referencing the Ku Klux Klan’s lynching of black people after he reviewed video evidence of a Black DWI defendant.
“He said that it made him understand why people hung people from trees,” said Williams-Boldware. “And it made him want to go home and put on his white pointy hat.”
The assistant district attorney was reprimanded and ordered to take sensitivity training, but Williams-Boldware said that changed nothing. Since the initial comment was made, she said she’s been labeled a "troublemaker" by some co-workers and often hears snide remarks regarding people watching what they say around her to avoid diversity-training courses.
Jamie Beck, Denton County’s first assistant district attorney, said she does not believe the employee whose comments started this firestorm is a racist.
“I don't think even Mrs. Williams-Boldware remembers verbatim what he said,” said Beck. “I think there could even be a difference between, 'I want to go home and put on my white pointy hat' or 'it makes me want to go home and put on a white pointy hat.'”
Beck did agree the comment, however stated, was offensive but disputed that employees have said any other things. Beck said the Lawsuit is politically motivated. She also said William-Boldware’s attorney, William Trantham, is known around the courthouse as ‘Wild Bill’ and has an adversarial relationship with the District Attorney’s office.
"It was filed the week that Mr. Johnson (District Atty. Paul Johnson) files for reelection,” said Beck.
Williams-Boldware said the office that hired her as an officer of the court is now calling her a liar.
“I didn't anticipate this coming out of law school,” said Williams-Boldware. “I have no political aspirations to be the Denton DA, it's about right and wrong that's all it's about for me,” she said about the allegation that her motives are political.
Beck said Williams-Boldware, who’s been on a short medical leave, can transfer to a new division within the District Attorney’s office when she returns to work if she desires and that all employees have been told not to discuss the lawsuit since several of them could be called as witnesses during trial.