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Allegations of Official Misconduct

California District Attorney Faces Multiple Political Retaliation Lawsuits

Two more lawyers are suing Contra Costa California District Attorney Mark Peterson in federal suits that claim he retaliated against them for supporting his opponent in the 2010 election, bringing to three the number of federal lawsuits that accuse Contra Costa County's top prosecutor of punishing staff over politics to three.

Deputy district attorney Jill Henderson and former deputy district attorney Lucinda Simpson have filed separate lawsuits alleging that Peterson retaliated against them because the employees were active in  the Pat O'Malley campaign. Their complaints follow a $6 million political retaliation lawsuit filed in April by prosecutor and former office administrator David Brown, who says he was demoted by Peterson and harassed by two of his managers in the election aftermath.

The plaintiffs and other current and former prosecutors are scheduled to testify about political retaliation claims before an administrative law judge at a five-day county merit board hearing for Henderson that's scheduled to start October 8. The hearing comes as prosecutors and public defenders, the lowest-paid public attorneys in the Bay Area, deal with crushing case loads and are considering a strike over pay.

Source: The Contra Costa Times

Posted 10-03-12

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