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Risk manager reports suspension for refusing drug test

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The risk manager for Nueces County in Texas reported that he was suspended without pay for 90 days for refusing to take a random drug test, Corpus Christi’s NBC affiliate KRIS 6 reported Wednesday.

Nueces County commissioners suspended Lance Esswein on June 30 for insubordination; on June 11 he stopped by the television news station to tell his story. 

Mr. Esswein told a reporter he was suspended because he missed two meetings with Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal, failed to return one of the judge's phone calls and refused to take two random drug tests. He claimed that taking a random drug test violates his constitutional rights, the station reported. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Esswein relayed that “he appeared tipsy and light headed at the office a few weeks ago” but added that he was sleep deprived, the station reported. He told a reporter he was also grappling with family issues.

A few weeks after the incident his supervisor told him that a drug-test order — which he claims he had not received — had been issued, Mr. Esswein told a news station reporter. He added that he should not be subject to the testing, per his job classification and his constitutional rights. 

“We have to designate which personnel are on the random list by specific job duties,” he told a reporter. “I've never been on the random list, never been designated on the random list for the five years I've been there. … If I got a letter that had me on a random drug list test, I would have been up in (the supervisor’s) office that day saying ‘This is unconstitutional. Look at our instruction. I don't meet those requirements. My job and my office has never been on that list. So, why would I be put on that list?’” 

KRIS 6 News phoned the Nueces County Human Resources Department to follow up but never heard back.