Former Midland Christian employees amend lawsuit against city, police officers

Picture of Midland Christian
Picture of Midland Christian(CBS7 News)
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 7:12 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Five former Midland Christian employees involved in a lawsuit against the City of Midland and three Midland Police Officers have amended their complaint and submitted it to a federal judge.

In the amended complaint, counsel for the plaintiffs, Jared Lee, Dana Ellis, Matthew Counts, Gregory McClendon, and Barry Russell, highlight a Midland City Council meeting on November 15. According to the amended complaint, Midlanders at that meeting “lamented that the City and its officers were committing a ‘weaponization of the law’ through the false charges against the Midland Christian Five, among others.”

The amended complaint also claims new charges brought against three of the plaintiffs, Lee, Ellis, and Counts, are “retaliatory, and vindictive.” In a separate indictment, Ellis, Lee, and Counts were indicted for failure to make a required child abuse report. Those charges were filed for an incident that happened in November of 2021. According to the amended complaint, Lee, Ellis, and Counts, were not present for the incident but were indicted and at least one educator in addition to medical professionals were present but were not indicted.

During the incident in November of 2021, one student hit another student with a bat. According to the court documents, it was described by witnesses as an accident. The amended complaint says the incident was not reported because “the incident was an accident which, by legal definition, does not constitute abuse.”

The documents allege charges against Lee, Ellis, and Counts, for the incident in November of 1021 are “approval of Defendants Alonzo and Sharp’s malice towards Plaintiffs, and their aggressive campaign to destroy their careers.” and sends a “vindictive message to Plaintiffs that their power is not to be challenged.”

The former Midland Christian employees were arrested in February for failure to report an incident with the intent to conceal neglect or abuse.

The plaintiffs were later no-billed by a grand jury and filed a lawsuit against the City of Midland in August.

In October the defendants, City of Midland, Jennie Alonzo, Rosemary Sharp, and Camilo Fonseca filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The City of Midland and other defendants have not responded to the amended complaint as of December 7.

We will update this story as we know more.