HOUSTON — A lawyer for Texas Southern University Police Chief Mary Young said her client's job is now in jeopardy after she told officers to stop being “errand boys” for the university’s president.
The attorney said police officers were acting as chauffeurs and personal attendants for TSU president Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, and when they were told to stop, the university moved to fire the chief.
On Thursday, a Harris County Judge granted Chief Young a temporary restraining order, allowing her to keep her job, at least temporarily.
“This is just sour grapes by someone who probably wants their purses carried and a chauffeur around to pretend they have an entourage protecting them,” Chief Young’s attorney, Benjamin L. Hall III, said. “I think it’s ridiculous.”
Lawyers for the university said she should be replaced now, but the court order prevents the university from firing Chief Young until December 14.
Hall said Chief Young has a work history that is squeaky clean.
“This woman had an unblemished record at HPD, nearly two decades,” Hall said. “People were dying to have her as police chief.”
Hall said everything was going fine for the chief until a few months ago.
Chief Young was allegedly informed that her officers were performing duties clearly outside of their job descriptions for the university’s president.
“What happened was, a board of regents trustee saw the police officers operating in a more personal manner with the TSU president,” Hall said. “They were acting like errand boys. Holding her purse, fixing and arranging her dress, and acting like chauffeurs as opposed to security.”
Hall said Chief Young admonished the officers, telling them they weren’t to perform any more of these personal services for the school’s president.
Not long after that, Hall said the chief was informed of an anonymous complaint.
Lawyers for TSU said in a court hearing Wednesday the complainant claimed the chief committed fraud.
Hall said the fraud allegation was nothing more than the chief allowing officers to work overtime because the police force is understaffed. Now, he said his client has a right to defend herself before she gets fired.
But the several lawyers representing the university disagreed. The attorneys claimed that keeping the chief on staff could cause irreparable harm to the university.
Hall said the two weeks granted by the order will allow his client to see the investigation and refute the claims made against her. Another hearing is set for December 13.
“I love TSU," said Chief Young. "I am pleased with Judge Morris’ ruling which will now allow us to tell the full story so the Board of Regents can make an informed decision about my actions.”
KHOU 11 reached out to TSU for a statement on the allegations and the case.
A university spokesperson replied in an email that TSU does not comment on personnel matters or litigation.