A jury in downtown Los Angeles awarded $1.5 million in damages Monday to one of the top supervisors at the LA County District Attorney’s Office, who sued DA George Gascón alleging she was given an effective demotion for raising ethical and legal objections to some of Gascon’s justice reform policies.
Shawn Randolph, who was removed in early 2021 from her job as Head Deputy District Attorney supervising all juvenile cases, testified during a week-long jury trial that her job transfer to the office’s parole unit was punitive and retaliatory.
Randolph and her attorney were not immediately available to discuss the case.
Gascón himself was called to testify on the second day of the trial and claimed he moved Randolph from her position as part of a larger reshuffling of managers. He denied it was retaliatory, and a statement from his office Monday after the verdict said it was ‘considering our options.’
“We are disappointed by the jury’s verdict, and stand by our decision to reassign this and other attorneys to new positions in the office,” the statement said.
Randolph sued because she said the transfer out of the juvenile branch was effectively a demotion that stripped her of a key role in the office and limited future opportunities for advancement, according to her complaint filed in 2021.
Randolp said one of her concerns about Gascón’s policies ordered on his first day in office centered on a directive to reduce the severity of criminal charges filed against juveniles, which Randolph said in her lawsuit forced prosecutors to file alternative charges in court that did not truly reflect the facts of a crime in question.
An attorney defending LA County and Gascón argued unsuccessfully that Randolph’s allegations were unfounded, and told jurors the case was really about Randolph’s frustration that she didn’t get assigned to a job at a courthouse she’d requested.
“She’s just mad,” attorney Justin Sanders said. “She wanted Long Beach or Torrance and instead she got parole.”
The jury awarded Randolph $1.5 million in compensation for pain and suffering, according to her attorney Greg Smith.
Her case was the first in a series of workplace retaliation lawsuits filed against Gascón to go to trial. There are at least 10 other lawsuits that have made similar allegations.
Source: NBC Los Angeles
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