Family Blames Clerk’s Suicide on Bullies

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A probation clerk grew so sick of bullying and racial harassment at the Los Angeles County Probation Office that he killed himself, his family claims in court.
     Adrian Luna Garcia’s mother Felipe Luna Valencia and his sister sued Los Angeles County, the probation department, and several officials on Friday for wrongful death, negligence, civil rights violations and other counts, in Superior Court.
     Garcia committed suicide in a car on a street in the City of Norwalk on July 17, 2013, after six years of bullying and harassment by department employees, his mother says in the 26-page complaint.
     Though the lawsuit is short on specifics, it says that probation office employees made remarks against Garcia of a “hostile and demeaning nature, including derogatory remarks.”
     Garcia’s mom claims that the department has a “custom or policy of discrimination against persons of Latino ancestry.”
     “The discrimination and harassment of decedent was in plain sight, occurring in the office at work, hallways and other common areas, during breaks, and was widespread and well-known to co-workers, staff and supervisors,” the complaint states.
     Named as defendants are Los Angeles County, its Probation Department, Chief Probation Officer Jerry E. Powers, and probation department employees Gail McFarlane-Sosa, Stacey Mohacsi and Sonia Roberson.
     A Probation Department referral form, posted online Friday, lists Garcia, McFarlane-Sosa and Mohacsi as contacts for the department’s Operation Read program, a literacy program for children.
     The family seeks damages and costs. It is represented by Tommy Ruedaflores.
     The attorney did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.
     Neither the county nor the probation department immediately responded to a request for comment on Friday.

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