A central Texas justice of the peace paid $11,600 in settlements to two Travis County workers after they said his dog, which he often brought to work with him, bit them.
Glenn Bass is running for re-election as Travis County Precinct 2 justice of the peace, the Austin American-Statesman reported. In December 2011, Danny Villegas said Bass’ Maltese dog named Justice jumped up and bit him once on each thigh when he was delivering paperwork to Bass’ office. The bites later became infected, said Villegas, who worked in the warrants division of the Precinct 2 county constable’s office.
The following year, Bass’ insurance company sent Villegas’ lawyer a $1,600 check to cover workers’ compensation costs Travis County incurred for Villegas’ injuries and attorney fees.
“To be honest with you, I don’t think the dogs should have been allowed in the building in the first place,” Villegas said. “After the incident, he brought back the dogs. That totally mind-boggled me.”
Bass said he kept Justice away from the office for a while after the incident, and that when he did bring Justice back, he put the dog on a leash and put a pet gate in his office. In 2013, Justice bit another worker while outside of the justice of the peace office building. Bass said he paid her $10,000 in damages.
“I believe that (the settlement) was extremely excessive,” Bass said. “But I made the decision, put myself in the situation. I deeply regretted it.”
Bass said he gave Justice and his other Maltese, Liberty, away to friends, though he still visits them.
A county report about Villegas’ bite included statements from other employees in the constable’s office, who said Justice had bitten their pants, shoes or socks. Two people said Justice barely missed biting into their skin.