Contra Costa County Civilian Grand Jury took uncommon motion and formally charged long-besieged assessor Gus Kramer with breaking state regulation by making a hostile work surroundings for a number of workers in his workplace .

    The cost, filed Wednesday in Contra Costa County Superior Court docket by the district lawyer’s workplace on behalf of jurors, alleged “willful or corrupt” misconduct over a five-year interval by which workers complained that Kramer had subjected them to sexually inappropriate feedback.

    If the 68-year-old Martinez resident is discovered responsible of the cost by a 12-person jury, it may result in his impeachment after 25 years of service.

    Kramer’s lawyer, Michael Rains, mentioned most of the prices “from years in the past” had already been investigated.

    “He denied the allegations and what the witnesses mentioned,” Rains mentioned. “He says he didn’t make these statements and that it was utterly misinterpreted.”

    Even when the conduct had been held to be true, Rains mentioned, it might not improve to the extent of Kramer’s removing from workplace.

    This is not the primary time Kramer has made headlines for questionable habits. Final yr, officers at Contra Costa employed an impartial investigator to analyze allegations that Kramer made inappropriate feedback to 2 of his workers. The supervisory board censored Kramer after investigator discovered him “extra probably than not” that Kramer made inappropriate feedback.

    Final month, the Honest Political Practices Fee fined her $ 5,500 for marketing campaign finance violations, and in 2009 the county paid $ 1 million to settle a lawsuit with an worker who complained that Kramer had retaliated towards her.

    The grand jury discovered that Kramer’s conduct was “hostile and abusive” in the direction of 4 workers, making a hostile work surroundings and violating the Honest Housing and Employment Act, based on the prosecution. Prosecutors, who had been required by state regulation to put the cost on behalf of the volunteer grand jury, requested a listening to to find out whether or not the Contra Costa district lawyer’s workplace must be challenged in subsequent proceedings.

    Senior Deputy District Legal professional Christopher Walpole mentioned he could not touch upon the small print of the costs or why his workplace would possibly must be faraway from the case. He additionally declined to touch upon why the East Bay civilian grand jury was knowledgeable in its investigation by an out of doors company – the Solano County lawyer. A consultant from the Solano County workplace mentioned they had been requested to provide recommendation as a result of Kramer had already been investigated by their counterparts at Contra Costa and Kramer had authorized motion open towards the county for censorship.

    The prosecution alleges that Kramer made sexual feedback in the direction of feminine workers and derogatory remarks focusing on a sufferer’s ethnicity between December 2013 and final yr.

    One girl claimed that in 2014, Kramer went to her cubicle nearly day by day to share tales of conquest with ladies. That very same yr, based on the prosecution, he known as her to a gathering within the foyer and pointed to a single rose when she arrived and mentioned, “I introduced it for you,” telling her that ‘he was “in love” together with her.

    In a textual content message, Kramer instructed the worker he canceled the workers picnic, “As a result of I needed you all for myself. Ha, ha. In one other set of texts, Kramer was on trip and mentioned it might be significantly better if she was there with him, based on the courtroom doc.

    In 2015, Kramer instructed him about his father’s manhood and the way he purchased his niece a vibrator for Christmas and the way humorous he discovered it when she opened it in entrance of youngsters. He usually instructed the girl that she reminded him of his niece, the alleged accusation.

    The worker was “subjected to those undesirable sexual feedback and tales as a result of she is a lady,” based on the prosecution.

    A second worker alleged that Kramer instructed her in 2013 how he went to dinner with an affiliate who “wore a white shirt with no bra.” Two years later, Kramer and the worker had been alone in an workplace elevator and Kramer instructed him he had “inappropriate” ideas about her, based on the prosecution.

    A 3rd worker mentioned that in 2014, Kramer instructed her he noticed an image of her in her wedding ceremony gown and that she regarded “actually horny.” Periodically he would inform her, “I heard you had been unhealthy. Are you good? based on the prosecution.

    The girl was so upset that she requested her boss to not assign her to the fourth flooring of the workplace to keep away from Kramer, the prosecution mentioned.

    The fourth worker testified to a collection of incidents final yr, the prosecution mentioned.

    Thrice, based on the prosecution, Kramer walked into his workplace and instructed the story of a pair having anal intercourse. In three different circumstances, Kramer spoke of the “bodily attributes” of assorted ladies he met at enterprise conferences. He as soon as instructed his worker a few girl he wish to “fold her up on the sofa”, based on the prosecution.

    In a single case, Kramer entered the workplace and made an ethnic insult. Moreover, after the California Democratic conference final yr, Kramer instructed the employee, “White males would by no means vote for a Mexican,” courtroom data present.

    The removing of an elected official from workplace by way of a civil indictment earlier than a grand jury is an uncommon process permitted by a state regulation of 1943. This isn’t unprecedented in Contra Costa, as there are At two years, the identical physique laid a cost – which isn’t a legal cost – towards then-county district lawyer Mark Peterson, who was finally pressured to step down. Peterson has been charged with illegally spending $ 66,000 in marketing campaign funds for private bills.

    Peterson finally resigned after the State Justice Division charged him with perjury and embezzlement, and he agreed to probation as a part of a plea deal.

    Matthias Gafni is a author for the San Francisco Chronicle. E mail: Twitter: @mgafni

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