Discrimination Case Against Fresno DA Office

November 13, 2008 7:21:17 PM PST
The office responsible for prosecuting criminals in Fresno County is on the defensive. A former employee is suing the district attorney's office. Judith Tucker worked for both the current and former district attorneys. Her attorney told jurors Thursday that Tucker faced gender discrimination and retaliation. But the defense said they followed all rules when they did not give Tucker promotions. District Attorney Elizabeth Egan and former District Attorney Ed Hunt are now defendants in a court of law. They are defending themselves from allegations made by Judith Tucker and her attorney David Petrie. Petrie said, "It's a gender discrimination case. That per say, deals with men versus women and as you know and how men and women are treated in the work place."

In Tucker's 29 years with the DA's office, she investigated notorious, convicted killers like Larissa Schuster and Marcus Wesson. On Thursday, Tucker's attorney told jurors she quit a year ago after being passed up for many promotions. Petrie said, "The complaint was made that Judy Tucker had no tact, couldn't get along with people." Petrie said tucker tried to improve her people skills.

The defendants' attorney offered a different story, saying the DA wanted tucker to succeed. Michael Woods is defending the DA's office. He told jurors during opening statements, "Mr. Hunt was a big fan of Judy Tucker. He did things for Judy Tucker that he never did for any other employee."

Hunt's treatment of women is expected to be a major issue in the case, but the defense addressed it on the first day of trial. Woods said, "You will have evidence of the number of women he promoted to leadership positions. When he started in 1983, there were few women but there were a lot more women when he was done."

Testimony will begin Monday morning. Tucker is expected to take the stand at some point. Then later in the trial, District Attorney Egan and former DA Hunt are scheduled to testify.

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