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Houston County Courier - Local News

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Fired CHA director files suit alleging breach of contract
Houston County Courier

By Lynda Jones
Managing Editor

A former director of the Crockett Housing Authority is suing the Housing Authority of the City of Crockett aka Crockett Housing Authority, and two individuals employed by the CHA at the time she was fired. Renea Minter, in a petition filed in the District Court of Houston County, Third Judicial District, on April 21, alleges the CHA breached its contract with her when it terminated her employment as the CHA’s executive director on Aug. 14, 2009. According to the petition, Minter was employed by the CHA for 13 years and three months, and her contract with the CHA would end on Jan. 31, 2012. The petition states the CHA owes Minter the remaining two years and six months of that contract. Minter’s petition states, “Defendant Crockett Housing Authority breached its contract with Plaintiff by terminating her employment contract. Minter petitions this Court to declare that the Amended Public Notice of Special Meeting is unenforceable in that it wholly failed to comply with Defendant Crockett Housing Authority’s By-Laws and was illegally called, invalid and the subsequent actions taken pursuant to that notice, specifically firing Renea Minter on Aug. 14, 2009, was null and void.” According to the CHA by-laws attached to the petition, “The Chairman of the Authority may, when he deems it expedient, and shall, upon the written request of two members of the Authority call a special meeting of the Authority for the purpose of transacting any business designated in the call.” The amended notice of the Aug. 14, 2009 meeting was signed by Jack Barbee and Bridget Lamb and is attached to the petition filed with the court. Dorothy Wyatt Chavers was acting chairman of the CHA at that time. On Aug. 18, 2010, Chavers signed an affidavit stating she “did not call, notice or otherwise have anything to do with the special meeting that took place on Aug. 14, 2009.” The affidavit signed by Chavers further states, “Neither Bridget Lamb nor Jack Barbee made a request to me to notice a special meeting regarding the termination of Renea Minter.” Minter’s petition also alleges there was a breach of contract because the CHA fired her without cause and that she was a “for cause employee”. Minter’s petition filed with the court also names Robert Luce and Mandy Nash as defendants. Luce and Nash are described in the petition as former and current employees of the CHA at the time of the alleged actions. Through the petition filed with the court, Minter alleges Luce and Nash made untruthful and defamatory statements about her to the CHA. The petition states, “Plaintiff contends that Defendant Luce and Defendant Nash’s statements were slanderous and libelous in that they were not true and Plaintiff was not given an opportunity to refute the statements. Further, Defendants’ statements accused Plaintiff of a crime and as such are therefore slanderous and libelous per se.” The petition further alleges the statements about Minter were made “in bad faith and with malice”. According to the petition, Minter is demanding a jury trial. According to the petition filed with the court, Minter is seeking to recover “judgment against defendants for actual damages including the amount of damages for the entire duration of plaintiff’s employment contract, injunctive relief, reinstatement to former or equivalent position, reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights lost, judgment against defendants for compensatory damages, judment against Defendants Luce and Nash for actual and Exemplary Damages, attorneys fees, pre-judgment interest at the maximum legal rate according to Texas statute, post-judgment interest at the legal rate until paid (and) court costs.” Minter is also seeking “a declaration that paragraphs that the Amended Public Notice of Special Meeting was void and unenforceable; and that the action taken in the Aug. 14, 2009 meeting terminating Renea Minter was unenforceable and null and void and invalid; reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees, costs of suit and such and further relief to which Plaintiff may be justly entitled.” The attorney-in-charge for Minter is Ellen Sprovach of Rosenberg and Sprovach of Houston.


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