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The Grimes County District Clerk's office is under the microscope, auditors are looking into how money turned up missing, and the man who runs the office is facing a flurry of legal woes.
District Clerk Wayne Rucker is the target of a wrongful termination lawsuit and a sexual harassment complaint. And he's now the root of another one. Rucker filed a complaint accusing his county auditor of slander.
"He's blasting me. I feel like there's someone maybe behind it pushing him because I've got a few political enemies," said Rucker.
Rucker calls auditor Buck LaQuey unprofessional for giving audit information to the media before completion. The audit, started in July at Rucker's request, has so far turned up over $6,000 in missing money. LaQuey, at the advice of both Grimes County district judges, chose not to comment.
On top of it all, Rucker is thinking of running for re-election in 2006, even though he says the county judge suggests he retire.
"It's Mr. Rucker's decision to make; I respect his opinion, and it's got to be up to him whether he's going to run or not," said County Judge James Dixon.
One of Rucker's former chief deputies, Sheila Schultz has filed a federal sexual harassment lawsuit accusing Rucker of making inappropriate comments. Sheila was not reachable, and Rucker's lawyers won't let him comment.
But one of Rucker's former employees will. Jeanne LeNorman has filed a wrong termination lawsuit against Rucker. She said she's seen the sexual harassment Rucker is accused of.
"He'd walk up and kind of pinch her side or the back of her neck and grab her and rub, you know, and he'd say things that weren't nice," said LeNorman.
"I'm not guilty of anything. I can lay down and go to sleep tonight because I'm not guilty of anything. I'm just trying to run my job for the people that elected me," said Rucker.
"I think it's time that he tuck his tail and run for home and stay there. The county doesn't need him in office," said LeNorman.
If Rucker does run for re-election, he can only hope legal wrangling doesn't get in the way. But lawsuits and complaints or not, it will be up to voters whether Rucker keeps his job for an eighth term.
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