Scrutinized Texas parks agency plans historic hire

1/9/2014

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department plans on becoming the only major state agency with an executive solely in charge of diversity.

   Plans to hire a chief diversity and inclusion officer in 2014 come after two employees filed federal discrimination complaints against the agency last year. Minority hiring has historically lagged at the 3,000-person agency.

   The parks agency spent more than $100,000 last year on two outside reviews that investigated allegations of bigotry and attitudes toward minorities in the game warden division. The final one obtained by The Associated Press concluded that many unattributed allegations of racism couldn't be corroborated.

   Executive Director Carter Smith says he needs a person constantly thinking of ways to make the agency more reflective of the state's changing demographics.


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