A Houston attorney in the midst of a separate lawsuit against the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate racism in the state agency.
Houston attorney Steve Mostyn is representing Brownsville School District in their lawsuit against TWIA for the group’s failure to pay on claims related to a 2008 hurricane. In the midst of that suit, Mostyn found hundreds of racist emails from TWIA officials, some related to his clients.
He asked the Texas Department of Insurance, the state agency that oversees TWIA, to conduct a third-party investigation because some of those emails involved TDI employees. TDI rejected the idea.
“It then came to our attention that the Texas Department of Insurance received federal money and if your accept money from the federal government then you cannot have discrimination in any of the agencies that accept it," Mostyn said. "And so we filed a complaint with the DOJ and asked them to come in look at the conduct."
Mostyn said the Texas Department of Insurance receives an estimated $2 million every year from the federal government that is used for TWIA. He said emails they’ve collected show a culture of racism.
"It’s not two people making a little joke or sending something around, it’s not two low-level employees, its is distributed through the entire claims department and management," Mostyn said.
Mostyn and TDI officials are waiting to see if the DOJ will issue a full investigation of the state agency.
View Mostyn's complaint letter here:
View the racist emails and get more background on this story in the Related Content block below.