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Collin County DA and top assistant accused of sexual harassment in federal lawsuit

Collin County Veterans Court
Azul Sordo
/
KERA
A federal lawsuit accuses the Collin County DA Greg Willis and his first assistant Bill Wirskye of sexual harassment and employment discrimination. It also alleges the county commissioners court covered it up.

The Collin County DA and his top assistant have been accused of sexual harassment. The county commissioners court is accused of knowing about it but not taking action.

A lawsuit filed on Monday in the Northern District of Texas court alleges that Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis treats "many female employees as objects that, without their consent, must gratify his sexual impulses and personal vanity." And it claims that assistant district attorney Bill Wirskye "runs the office as a crass, misogynistic fraternity complete with systemic hazing of the County’s attorneys, investigators and staff."

The suit also names Collin County Judge Chris Hill and the Collin County commissioners as defendants, claiming the commissioners court knew about the misconduct in the DA's office for "years" but refused to take action or investigate.

Willis and Wirskye deny the allegations. In an emailed statement, Willis' attorney Rogge Dunn said he has evidence disproving the claims in the suit.

"There is a mountain of evidence proving that the allegations are false," he wrote. "These complaints are sour grapes by some disgruntled former and current employees who had performance issues."

Kim Pickrell, the first plaintiff listed in the suit, has worked in the DA's office since 2006 and became chief investigator in 2016. She alleges in the suit that Willis would frequently "give her full frontal body hugs while pressing her breasts into his chest, rubbing her lower back with his hands and moaning."

Willis was elected in 2011 and is currently up for reelection. In an emailed statement to KERA, Willis denied the allegations and claimed they were politically motivated.

"The citizens of Collin County deserve better than these dishonest and politically motivated attacks that waste time and money," he wrote.

Wirskye, who became first assistant district attorney in 2017, also said in his statement that the suit is politically motivated.

Willis spoke to the commissioners' court in July about having difficulty hiring entry-level prosecutors. He attributed that issue to the lower salary for that role compared to other Texas counties.

Got a tip? Email Caroline Love at clove@kera.org.

Caroline Love is a Report For America corps member for KERA News.

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Caroline Love covers Collin County for KERA and is a member of the Report for America corps. Previously, Caroline covered daily news at Houston Public Media. She has a master's degree from Northwestern University with an emphasis on investigative social justice journalism. During grad school, she reported three feature stories for KERA. She also has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas Christian University and interned with KERA's Think in 2019.