Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com
A former Dallas County prosecutor is accusing democratic Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins of firing him after he attended a republican watch party on election night.
A former Dallas County prosecutor is accusing the Dallas County District Attorney of playing politics.
Tom Nowak is convinced his attendance at a Republican watch party on election night, cost him his job as a child abuse prosecutor.
"It’s pretty simple, I’m pretty sure I can convince of jury of it," said Nowak, who was hired by the Dallas County D.A.'s Office in May of 2005.
Both men attended a GOP watch party Tuesday night.
Video that aired on NBC 5 showed Grau chatting with Watkins' Republican challenger, Danny Clancy.
"For him to hear or see that prosecutors were there shouldn't be a shock," said Nowak. "There are 220 of us in that office, there’s a likelihood that 1 or 2 of us might be Republican."
Watkins released a statement Tuesday afternoon that read: "The district attorney's office does not make employment decisions based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation. The accusation that Mr. Nowak was terminated because he attended the Republican election night party is absolutely not true."
Nowak said he had an exemplary record and one of the highest conviction rates in the office. "I only want him to tell me what the real reason was, they couldn't give me an example of when I’d said anything or done anything negative toward Mr. Watkins," said Nowak.
The 31-year-old prosecutor said Watkins earned a lot of credit with him during talks of proposed budget cuts.
"He went out on a limb, fighting for our positions to come back, and now to fire a couple of us who happen have to an 'R' next to our name is just really, really upsetting," said Nowak.
Ideally, Nowak would like an apology from the D.A. and his job back. But given that doesn't seem likely, he is applying for prosecutor positions in other counties.