Grand Jury Alleges Culture of Sexual Misconduct, Favoritism in O.C. District Attorney’s Office

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Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas is shown at a 2016 news conference in Santa Ana. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

A culture of sexual misconduct inside the bureau of investigation at the Orange County district attorney’s office has created a perception of “a hostile work environment,” according to a report released Tuesday by the county’s grand jury.

Jurors interviewed nearly 100 people — deputy district attorneys, paralegals, investigators, human resources personnel, commanders and executive staff — after hearing complaints about misconduct and retaliation by bureau management as a result of sexual relationships between supervisors and subordinates.

The jury’s allegations include sexual encounters at training conferences, sexually explicit comments about coworkers, and the transmission of sexually suggestive pictures and racial jokes over email and text messages.

Those interviewed told the jurors about unwelcome touching and sexual behavior between management and subordinates within the investigation bureau, a unit that includes more than 250 staff members, most of them sworn peace officers.

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