Public Defender Blows Whistle on Judge

     TUCSON (CN) – An assistant public defender claims in Federal Court that a City Court judge sexually harassed her for nearly a year, telling her “it would not be good for plaintiff’s career and for the public defender’s office in general if plaintiff continued to reject his sexual advances.”



     Sharolynn L. Griffiths claims the unnamed Tucson City Court judge has a history of inappropriate conduct, which the city has not addressed. She sued Tucson, but not the judge.
     Griffiths claims the judge began making unwanted advances soon after she started her job in 2009.
     “Commencing in or about November 2009 and continuing until in or about October 2010, one of the city court judges subjected her to pervasive and egregious sexual harassment on a daily basis, including, without limitation, sexually explicit emails and text messages, verbal comments, and physical conduct,” the complaint states. “Some of the verbal conduct occurred in the presence of others, including clients, co-workers, prosecutors, and court staff.
     “The City Court judge ‘reminded’ plaintiff that it would not be good for plaintiff’s career and for the public defender’s office in general if plaintiff continued to reject his sexual advances. The judge also reminded plaintiff about his role in her performance evaluations.”
     Griffiths says the issue came to a head in late 2010, when, “after plaintiff had once again rejected the judge’s advances, the judge publicly chastised, berated and humiliated plaintiff in open court without cause and in retaliation for her refusal to accede to his sexual advances.”
     Griffiths seeks damages for sexual harassment and retaliation.
     She is represented by Jenne Forbes, with Waterfall Economidis Caldwell Hanshaw & Villamana.

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