Former San Diego Public Defenders Say They Faced Discrimination and Retaliation

The San Diego County Public Defender Office is facing lawsuits from two former deputy public defenders who say they were the victims of discrimination and retaliation. 

The plaintiffs are Zachary Davina and Michelle Reynoso. Both of them had complained about a supervisor’s use of the word “lynch” when discussing another employee’s behavior. After learning they had complained, the supervisor Sherry Stone conducted the tenure review for both employees. She allegedly warned Davina that “slights against co-workers will come back to you.” 

Reynoso says she was fired about a month later. She also alleges she was “grilled” about her political views.

Before Davina’s termination, he says he faced criticism over his status as an LGBTQ individual. He was told that he was too “animated” and “flamboyant.”

The county has denied the allegations in court filings. In a statement, the county said it “looks forward to bringing these cases to a jury to hear the facts.”

Read more at KPBS.