Lehmberg sued by former Travis County prosecutor

Rosemary Lehmberg (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A former prosecutor who was fired on the grounds of making racially insensitive remarks is now suing Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg saying he was unfairly removed from his job.

Steven Brand was an assistant district attorney in Travis County since 2006. Lehmberg fired him for statements he made during jury selection in an aggravated robbery trial. She said Brand commented about a potential juror being a member of the local NAACP chapter and the possible bias the juror could hold.

“Travis County lost an outstanding, ethical prosecutor,” Brand’s attorney Tom Nesbitt said. He disputes claims made by the DA and says Lehmberg had other motivations.

Following that trial, Nesbitt says Lehmberg pressured Brand to mislead an Austin Police Department internal affairs unit into covering up something a detective said about the case, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

“When he was asked to mislead Austin Police, he refused to,” Nesbitt said, “and then reported that Rosemary Lehmberg had tried to influence his testimony.

“Within a couple of months of that he was fired for reasons that, quite frankly, are a pretext and untrue,” Nesbitt added.

Lehmberg last month called the allegations “completely untrue,” reiterating Brand was fired for making racially insensitive comments and that a court order also believes the comments to be inappropriate.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s