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District Attorney Cleared of California Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Allegation

January 18, 2010

In a recent blog, our Southern California Labor and Employment Attorneys discussed the current San Bernardino County claim involving District Attorney Michael Ramos, and a former employee--who accused Ramos of sexual harassment and retaliation.

According to a San Bernardo County memo recently released, the District Attorney's Office did not retaliate against Cheryl Ristow, the former employee who claims to have had an affair with Ramos.

Cheryl Ristow worked as an investigative technician for the District Attorney's office for seven years and filed a claim last year against Ramos for sexual harassment. According to Ristow, after their affair of over seventeen months ended and the details of their affair were about to become public, she was subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliation by three top officials--by being accused of trivial violations by her supervisors that were unwarranted. Ristow took a disability leave of absence for stress in July of 2009, and recently filed a $1.5 million claim against the county.

After the county authorized a $140,000 investigation into the alleged misconduct, led by a Santa Monica law firm, the San Bernardino County's Department of Human Resources announced that Ramos did not harass or retaliate against the coworker after their consensual affair ended in February of 2005.

The San Bernardino County investigation report, released at the end of last week, stated that regardless of whether Ramos and Ristow engaged in a sexual relationship--Ramos and the individuals working with him were not found to have retaliated against Ristow. The violations reported by Ristow's supervisors were claimed to be performance-related--work concerns that were current, objective and verifiable.

Ramos publicly denied all allegations of sexual harassment, and claimed that they were politically motivated charges with no factual basis. In a statement by Ramos, he called this claim an attack on his political office, in retaliation of his office's ongoing public investigation of corruption--where the D.A.'s office has charged several former county officials with perjury, fraud, and misappropriation of public money.

Howard Law, PC represents employees been who have been sexually harassed and are seeking recovery, or employers wrongfully accused of sexual harassment and being sued. Both circumstances can be confusing and emotionally draining. In Orange County and throughout Southern California, our team of experienced labor & employment lawyers can aggressively represent you and protect your rights. Contact us today.

County Expands Sexual Misconduct Investigation into DA, High Desert Daily Press, November 16, 2009

San Bernardino County District Attorney Cleared of Misconduct, The Press Enterprise, January 15, 2010

Ramos Sexual Harassment Investigation Completed, The San Bernardino Sun, January 13, 2010

Report Clears DA in Employee Complaint, The San Bernardino Sun, January 15, 2010

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)