Betsy DeVos. Photo: Bloomberg

Andrew Harrer

A Central Texas personal injury lawyer has resigned from his law firm after tweeting “I’m not wishing for it … but I’d be ok if #BetsyDevos was sexually assaulted. #SexualAssault #TitleIX.”

Round Rock attorney Rob Ranco, formerly of Killeen’s The Carlson Law Firm, wrote the offensive tweet late last week after criticizing U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ intention to re-examine federal guidelines for those accused of sexual assault on school campuses.

The Sept. 8 tweet caught the attention of the conservative media including The Washington Timesand Breitbart that took a screen capture of Ranco’s tweet before he took his account private.

A statement released by Craig Carlson, the firm’s managing partner, noted that after he met with Ranco recently, he chose to resign after both men agreed that the tweet went too far.

“This firm is a family and believe it’s up to me to show the same loyalty that I ask of my people. I wasn’t going to make a rash decision about a member of this family just to appease people on social media,” Carlson said in the statement. “That said, I considered the health of everyone in our organization, promised my partners and my employees that we would act according to the values of our firm, and sat down to speak with Mr. Ranco.”

The two men came to two reasons why Ranco should no longer be employed by the firm, Carlson said.

“With over 150 employees—75 percent of whom are women—anyone in our company advocating or even expressing apathy towards sexual assault is affront to all victims and a line that simply cannot be uncrossed,” Carlson said. “This has been an enormous distraction that has taken us away from the mission of our firm, which is to care for and help people.”

“As a man of faith, believer in forgiveness, and longtime friend, it is my sincere hope that Rob will learn from this experience and go on to have a very successful career,” Carlson said.

Ranco could not be reached for comment. He has no prior public disciplinary history with the State Bar of Texas.