Racism and discrimination allegations are troubling the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, where employees bemoaned “a legacy of intolerance” in a report commissioned by the agency.
“A significant number of the game wardens who were interviewed by the firm, for example, lamented that many of the senior game wardens who have since retired have left a legacy of intolerance and favoritism in the division,” read a report from the Austin law firm Davis Kaufman, which was delivered to lawmakers in April.
The agency paid for the Davis Kaufman report (and a second one still being completed) following an inflammatory story in the “alternative” weekly Austin Chronicle that quoted game wardens alleging a history of institutional racism at TPWD. The story troubled members of black caucus leaders in the Texas Legislature, who were told in a letter from Carter Smith, the agency’s executive director, “just how seriously we take this matter.”
In March, a black female cadet left the state’s game warden academy after alleging discrimination. Brukendra Jackson filed a complaint Wednesday with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.