SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer issued the following statement today:
An independent outside law firm hired by the County’s CEO conducted an investigation and concluded what the Orange County District Attorney’s Office had previously uncovered and disclosed to the County: a former OCDA manager sexually harassed several female prosecutors in the office.
The independent investigation concluded that in response to learning of these allegations, the OCDA responded promptly, appropriately, and no employee was subjected to retaliation.
As soon as allegations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior came to our attention, we initiated an immediate investigation with OCDA HR. This fact is indisputable and is confirmed by the report.
The employee accused of harassment was immediately put on leave after an initial investigation by OCDA and consultation and direction by County HR and EEO. The employee chose to submit his resignation the same day after being placed on Administrative Leave.
I have been unequivocally clear that I never personally witnessed the alleged behavior or anything similar during my interactions with this former employee or was I ever told of any such behavior. Had I been aware of these allegations at any time, I would have taken swift and decisive action.
We can now once and for all put to rest the false perception that I or my Senior Executives had any knowledge of these disgusting acts prior to any witnesses coming forward.
I am sickened by this manager’s offensive and base behavior. No one should have to suffer in silence and these prosecutors will be protected by me and my office. I am further incensed and enraged that the manager engaged in discrimination and harassment against others.
Office-wide anti-harassment trainings of all staff and additional training for managers has been an on-going state law requirement. We have ensured that all attorneys and employees have been trained and are encouraged to report misconduct at multiple levels: to their managers, their unions, the EEO and County and OCDA HR depending on the comfort level of the employee.
I subscribe to these core beliefs and have upheld them every day of my professional career for more than three decades:
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office does not tolerate harassment of any kind in the workplace. We have and will continue to support anyone who believes he or she has been harassed.
I have an established track record of holding employees accountable regardless of any pre-existing relationship they may have with me.
Any allegation of harassment in the workplace – irrespective of the timing, potential motive, or interpersonal relationships – has and will continue to be fully and thoroughly investigated by my office.
For the last 30 years as a public servant, I have refused to tolerate harassment and racism in the workplace – and I refuse to tolerate it now. That is not rhetoric; it is a fact.