Blayne Williams v. City of Austin
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [16-50390 Affirmed] Judge: ECP, Judge: SAH, Judge: GJC. Mandate pull date is 04/17/2017 [16-50390]
Date Filed: 03/27/2017
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
United States Court of Appeals
March 27, 2017
Lyle W. Cayce
Plaintiff - Appellant
CITY OF AUSTIN,
Defendant - Appellee
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Texas
USDC No. 1:14-CV-695
Before PRADO, HIGGINSON, and COSTA, Circuit Judges.
Police Officer Blayne Williams appeals the district court’s grant of
summary judgment on his discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims
against the City of Austin. Having read the briefs, reviewed the record, and
heard oral arguments, we AFFIRM.
As to his claim that he was suspended and denied promotions because
he is African-American, Williams does not make out a prima facie case. He
Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH
CIR. R. 47.5.4.
Date Filed: 03/27/2017
tries to do so by pointing to Frank Corpus (Hispanic) and Richard Will
(white)—Austin Police Officers he alleges were similarly situated but treated
Corpus’s and Will’s disciplinary history, however, is not
comparable to Williams’s. Lee v. Kan. City S. Ry. Co., 574 F.3d 253, 260 (5th
Cir. 2009). Williams previously sustained a serious policy violation that could
have resulted in an indefinite suspension. Corpus, on the other hand, only had
a prior one-day suspension. And Will seemingly had no discipline history. This
makes Corpus and Will unsuitable comparators.
Williams’s retaliation claim likewise fails.
Assuming Williams has
established a prima facie case of retaliation, the City offers a nonretaliatory
reason for Williams’s suspension: his discipline history.
And we are not
satisfied that Williams’s evidence creates “a conflict in substantial evidence”
on the ultimate issue of but-for causation (in other words, it does not show the
City’s reason is pretextual). Hernandez v. Yellow Transp., Inc., 670 F.3d 644,
658 (5th Cir. 2012). This is true even considering the affidavits Williams
provides from three former police officers making vague allegations that the
police chief previously chastised other employees who opposed his actions. Our
cases require more to create a fact issue on pretext. See, e.g., Shackelford v.
Deloitte & Touche, LLP, 190 F.3d 398, 408–09 (5th Cir. 1999); see also Evans
v. City of Houston, 246 F.3d 344, 354 (5th Cir. 2001).
Finally, Williams’s evidence falls well short of establishing the severe or
pervasive harassment necessary to make out a claim of a hostile work
environment. Ramsey v. Henderson, 286 F.3d 264, 269–70 (5th Cir. 2002).
We AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.
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