Marin County DA sued for racial discrimination by former deputy district attorney

This comes as another group of employees says a photo of a staff member in blackface created a hostile work environment.

ByCornell W. Barnard via KGO logo
Thursday, November 24, 2022
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$18 million discrimination lawsuit filed against Marin County District Attorney Lori Frugoli by former Deputy District Attorney Cameron Jones.

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A former Deputy District Attorney has filed an $18 million lawsuit against Marin County's District Attorney, claiming discrimination.

Cameron Jones who is Black says he was fired after complaining about unfair treatment on the job. This comes as another group of employees says a photo of a staff member in blackface created a hostile work environment.

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Civil rights attorney Charles Bonner served Marin County District Attorney, Lori Frugoli and other staff members with a discrimination lawsuit on Wednesday.

"There's a pattern and practice of retaliation by Lori Frugoli," said Bonner.

The lawsuit was filed by former Deputy District Attorney Cameron Jones who claims he was fired earlier this year after filing a complaint with Human Resources about workplace discrimination. Jones says he was subject to scrutiny and job reviews that his white co-workers were not asked to complete.

"I think I was terminated because I was speaking out on how I was being treated differently and the color of my skin," said Jones.

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The suit claims a manager who spoke out against Jones' termination also faced retaliation.

"One of the major managers, also an African American protested the way Mr. Jones was being treated and told Ms. Frugoli that she was violating a policy, she ignored his advice and retaliated against the manager," said Bonner.

Bonner says other employees of color were subject to a hostile work environment in the D.A.'s office after a staff member put up an offensive photo of them in blackface, the photo near a shooting range target with bullet holes.

"Yet the district attorney was informed this was offensive, she refused to take any action," said Bonner.

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Lori Frugoli told ABC7 News she can't comment on the lawsuit but that equity and diversity are the core missions of the D.A.'s office.

In a statement, Frugoli said, "I want to make it clear to the people of Marin County that I find racism in any form to be abhorrent, I do not condone prejudice or racism on any level."

Bonner is calling for Jones to be reinstated and for all members of the D.A.'s office to undergo sensitivity training. Meantime Jones wants the D.A. to resign.

"Where do I go from here? I'll continue to fight this," he added.