Records Show 30 Claims of Sexual Misconduct Filed Against Santa Clara County DA Staffers

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office files about 40,000 criminal cases a year on behalf of 1.8 million residents in its jurisdiction. The agency wields broad authority to limit the liberty and even the lives of defendants it prosecutes.

So, it’s only fair for the public to know how the DA’s Office deals with wrongdoing by the people tasked with fulfilling its mission.

The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) contended as much earlier this year in asking for records of sexual misconduct involving employees at the district attorney offices of the seven largest California counties, including the 600 or so folks who work for the local DA. Each responded with varying degrees of transparency. And only one—the San Diego County DA—prompted the FAC to sue.

Through a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request of its own, Fly recently obtained the local DA’s response: a heavily redacted log of 30 claims from 2013 to spring of 2018.

There’s not much to see. All but seven incident summaries are entirely obscured by black bars; even those reveal just fragments of already brief entries. And no names are named. From what little we can glean, it appears there was one case still under investigation at the time of the CPRA request in early 2018—but no details were made public.

Source: Santa Clara County

In June 2017, to cite another example, a consultant named Vernon Crawley sustained a claim about a supervisor giving unwelcome neck-and-shoulder massages to female colleagues, engaging in a sexual relationship with a subordinate and exhibiting “sexual favoritism.” In May 2016, someone in another case complained about inappropriate comments about race and sexual orientation in the evidence tech unit. The allegations were sustained and everyone involved got a letter about the findings.

Source: Santa Clara County

In August 2015, someone heard an attorney using “sex talk” in the office. Assistant District Attorney Terry Harman spoke with the accuser, who denied grousing about “sex talk” but said some lawyers had been “unprofessional when they ‘talk loud’ and use ‘F-bombs.’” Whoever Harman spoke to made sure to say that she finds the lawyers “really nice,” and didn’t want to “make a big deal out of this” and insisted that she wasn’t “complaining.” Harman planned to resolve the matter by posting an advisory on the office bulletin board about behaving professionally at work.

Source: Santa Clara County

In August 2013, someone accused a program manager of “sexual harassment/gender discrimination.” The complaint was sustained and finalized a year later. Three months prior, a law clerk trainee reportedly leered at a woman’s behind. Supervisor Mary Dimeo surmised that it could entail sexual harassment if the clerk was giving the woman “elevator eyes.” She reminded him of the policy, which, she concluded, “he understood.”

Source: Santa Clara County

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

4 Comments

  1. Wow! It just never ends in Santa Clara! A lifetime of work for our intrepid journalists! And what about Dominic Caserta from Santa Clara Unified? Is it ok to talk about him? Or would that be impolite? He’s still on paid administrative leave in SCUSD! 13 credible student allegations of sexual harassment. Will Stan pull the plug on this guy before Stan retires in June? Time will tell or Maybe Dominic will tell!

  2. Thanks San Jose Inside but those are only the cases the DA recorded in records. I am aware of at least 10 other complaints that never made it to records. Some made directly to Jeff Rosen about his prosecutors. One in particular I made from a source about a DDA involved in an improper relationship with a victim’s mother. The DAO has taken millions to help victims and have failed. These prosecutors are completely incompetent as address by a 2016- 2017 Grand Jury complaint. The DA has failed victims of domestic violence, fraud , elder abuse, child abuse and rape. Since 2010 Rosen has used this office for his personal benefit and advancement of his career, not to protect the people he serves. Records requests to the FPPC tell more. Keep digging and keep reporting local !

  3. Wow, super groundbreaking investigative journalism. You asked for information, and the DA gave it to you… goes way beyond publishing press releases Murky Gnus does I suppose.

    Is the big reveal here that humans are sexual creatures? That harassment occurs in workplaces? That things are reported, investigated and handed over when asked? Based on the news, work experience, every day life and a thing called reality… this sort of behavior exists in offices everywhere, all over the world- just sayin’. Is it right? No. Will it be eradicated? No. Should anonymous reporters gleefully report mundane, everyday things as if it’s scandalous? No.

    By the way “Fly”… kind of off-topic… super enjoy the escort, massage and marijuana ads in your printed METRO, they have that Silicon Valley classy feel. Like the DA Office you’re trying to condemn?

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