Thursday, May 10, 2012

Claim alleges malfeasance in DA's Office; Gallegos: Allegations will be proven false

Claim alleges malfeasance in DA's Office; Gallegos: Allegations will be proven false - Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard

The claim alleges that Duncan -- who has been with the DA's Office since December 2006 -- was retaliated against for complaining of sexual harassment, questioning the office's “unlawful polygraph practices” and questioning potentially improper uses of office resources, including “the use of county equipment, resources and employee time for Paul Gallegos' re-election campaign.”

Reached Wednesday, (Psul V.) Gallegos said he couldn't discuss Duncan's claim in detail but said he believes her allegations are without merit.

”I think they're false, and I think that will come out. I think that's all I can say,” he said. “At this point, we just have to let things proceed, and I think at the end of the day (the allegations) will be proven false.”

...Duncan's complaint lists 10 bulleted issues that she allegedly questioned or reported, including office officials claiming hours worked while on vacation, failure to report a “known thief” working in the Humboldt County Superior Court, Victim Witness showing “favoritism” in handling checks to crime victims, the possible misappropriation of grant money and “unlawful polygraph practices.” The bulleted points contain few specific allegations and simply list the issues about which Duncan reports to have inquired....

County Administrative Officer Phillip Smith-Hanes said Duncan's claim has been rejected by the county's Department of Risk Management, which typically accepts or rejects claims submitted to the county unless there is a particular reason to bring them before the board. Smith-Hanes said the first time supervisors have discussed the matter was Tuesday, when it came before them as a closed session item agendized as anticipated or potential litigation.

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