On February 23, 2010, the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority fired Pauline Higgins, the Metro’s senior vice president and general counsel, for “unsatisfactory performance continued over a prolonged period of time.”
An independent personnel investigation by Metro’s Employee Advocacy Officer had recommended in December 2009 that Higgins be terminated. The investigating officer described being troubled to hear “how Pauline had manipulated and caused so much fear into some of her past and present employees.”
Metro CEO Frank Wilson described a “flood of people” who complained to him about Higgins’ workplace bullying. Wilson said that he offered Higgins training to improve her management style, but she refused.
According to an internal investigation of Higgins that was distributed to the press, 13 current and former subordinates of Higgins who were interviewed described a hostile work environment in Higgin’s department, and one employee said that Higgins is the worst boss she has ever had.