Accused of swearing at employees, and being threatening, racist and sexist
The Madera County Board of Supervisors on Monday voted to formally censure Madera County District Attorney David Linn over allegations of workplace misconduct.
Linn denies the claims.
“I may be a little old and a little crusty from my Navy years, but I don’t say those things,” he told supervisors this morning at a special public meeting over the accusations.
The board also released a redacted report on the investigation of those allegations.
That investigation was conducted by the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore to look into allegations primarily by Linn staff members that Linn used what they considered to be abusive language that was “racist, sexist and otherwise offensive” when dealing with District Attorney’s Office employees, said board Chairman Max Rodriguez.
The board called on Linn to resign his position.
The investigation began July 24 and ended Oct. 17.
The censure comes as Linn is supposedly investigating the Board of Supervisors over suspicions it has violated the state’s open-meetings act — aka the Brown Act — and that certain board members may have traded favors with certain individuals and firms doing business with the county.
No report on that investigation has been forthcoming.
The censure does not constitute a criminal charge, but it does put the board on record as having a low tolerance for how employees of the county should be treated, and also what the limits are of language used in county offices.
Meanwhile, the Madera County Prosecutors’ Association, which represents some of the employees of the District Attorney’s Office, issued a statement Monday rescinding its endorsement earlier this year of Linn’s candidacy for re-election.
"In light of the findings in the recent investigation, the Madera County Prosecutors’ Association revokes its endorsement of David Linn for District Attorney. The Association’s members stand in support of their coworkers," the association said.
Several deputy district attorneys were interviewed for the investigation by Kimberly A. Horiuchi, a Liebert Cassidy Whitmore attorney retained by the county Human Resources Department on instructions from the Board of Supervisors.
Most of those interviewed were apparently deputy district attorneys, identified by the initialism DDA.
After interviewing the DDAs and Linn, Horiuchi said she had determined that “Linn engaged in abusive or threatening conduct in the workplace,” and that the allegation should be sustained.
Linn denied this in an interview with Horiuchi, saying he never used profanity when speaking to his subordinates.
She also said “Linn made repeated sexist or sexually explicit comments to and about employees and victims of crime.”
Linn also denied this allegation, saying he made no comments that were offensive to women, and stated he was not sexist.
Horiuchi said Linn had made repeated racist or racially insensitive comments in the workplace.
Linn denied that, saying he had no idea why his employees would testify otherwise.
In the introduction to her report, Horiuchi said she had not been retained to represent the county in a disputed matter, or to provide legal advice or representation. “My function was solely that of fact-finder,” she said.
The redacted report can be read online at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EVdwSzOxEhjgzHEkPOAEfH6ypv-C_lvj/view?usp=sharing