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

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

6 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?

    • After reading several articles here and elsewhere about this District Attorney, anything that Mr. Rosen does should be viewed with a jaundiced eye, because his actions all appear to have ulterior motives.

      Rosen routinely crosses the line by using his office to protect his pals, or to cause grief to his political opponents. And there isn’t a credible authority they can appeal to that isn’t likely to tilt toward the D.A. It’s a bad situation all around.

      Reading about the D.A.’s immoral behavior is one thing, but how would any of us feel if we were on the recieving end of Rosen’s self-serving ‘justice’? More to the point, what would we do about it?

      The public has been far too accepting of immorality in public officials In many cases that seems to be based on their politics. They don’t understand what accepting that kind of behavior by the District Attorney will eventually lead to.

      If there isn’t at least a perception of ‘equal justice under the law’, then what Rosen is doing is no different than if someone else had used extreme force on them. What’s to prevent them from ratcheting up in return? Because Rosen is offering them a stark choice: “Suck up to me, or I’ll use my office to stick it to you.” A credible threat, no?

      No matter what your answer is, it leads down a bad path. If you suck up to him you’ll hate yourself even more than you hate him. But if you don’t, the situation can quickly get out of control. Eventually it will morph into tribal warfare — and “warfare,” doesn’t mean a political shouting match.

      (We’re almost beyond that now in national politics. The irrational hatred expressed by some unhinged electeds and their even more insane supporters is a scary example of what could happen if/when they get into positions of power.)

      The D.A. has the power to take away your freedom for years. What would you do if he did that to you, based not on equal justice under the law, but on whether you were his pal, or his political opponent?

      Mentioning ‘morality’ these days may sound shoolmarmish. But when a society loses its moral authority, at some point ‘equal justice under the law’ will become tribal ‘justice’.

      We’re getting pretty close to that situation now, aren’t we?

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