Sexual Harassment Allegations Fly in Orange County DA Race

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(Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Orange County, CA – Last week the allegations flew at challenger Pete Hardin in report from the conservative Washington Examiner that alleged the challenger sexually harassed witnesses, victims and defendants.

“As if Pete Hardin’s woke, pro-criminal agenda wasn’t bad enough, it turns out he’s a predator, too,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a pointed release last week in which he called on the challenger to boy out of the race. “How can Hardin be trusted to prosecute defendants when he’s trying to date them?”

Hardin’s campaign team pointed out that the allegations were both anonymous and unsubstantiated.  The Washington Examiner article was also written by Spitzer’s former communications director.

This week, it is the Hardin campaign seizing the advantage as two women have come forward to file sexual harassment suits against Spitzer’s office.  Both are claiming sexual harassment and retaliation as well as a failure to investigate.

The allegation notes that upon being elected to DA and sworn in in 2019, Spitzer hired long-time friend Gary Logalbo (who was reportedly best man at Spitzer’s wedding) giving him “preferential treatment” and “preferential treatment and promoted him into a management position despite knowing Mr. Logalbo had a history sexually harassing female employees.”

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs and others “were exposed daily to Mr. Logalbo’s sexual harassing comments.”

Orange County hired an independent investigator to review the harassment allegations and the investigation concluded “Mr. Logalbo committed sexual harassment towards Plaintiff, and that his conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment.”

The complaint further alleges that Spitzer embarked “on a campaign of retaliation against Plaintiff and other victims of Mr. Logalbo for blowing the whistle on his “best” friend.”

This led to a second round of allegations – this time for retaliation against the whistleblowers.  Orange County conducted another investigation, this concluded around August 2, 2021.

Five months later, the findings were finally made available to the plaintiffs and according to the complaint, “they are stunning.”

In this case, the investigator reportedly conluded that Spitzer “flagrantly” violated Orange County’s EEO and Abusive Conduct policies, acted with “malice” towards the plaintiffs and other victims, and “Mr. Spitzer knowingly “abused” and “misused” his power as District Attorney, which created a hostile and offensive work environment for Mr. Lagolbo’s victims, including Plaintiff. Mr. Spitzer’s conduct was specifically found to have exposed Plaintiff and other victims of Mr. Lagalbo to “gawking” and “humiliation” and had the “effect of gratuitous sabotage” and “undermining of those [victims’] work performance.””

According to the complaint, the investigation found that Spitzer has “caused unjustified embarrassment and indignity to [his own district attorneys.”

Further, “the report reveals that Mr. Sptizer, the County’s chief law enforcement officer, did not cooperate in the investigation and refused to be interviewed…”

Plaintiff, it continues, “is unaware of any formal investigation, in the history of Orange County, where an elected official was found to have so contemptuously betrayed the public trust.”

“This is just one of countless scandals that have turned this administration into a sideshow, but ultimately Todd Spitzer’s covering up and retaliating against victims of egregious sexual harassment exposes him for the fraud that he is,” Pete Hardin said in a statement released on Wednesday.

He continued, “He holds himself out as a champion for victims when the cameras are rolling, but behind closed doors he protected a pervert and retaliated against multiple female victims in his own office.”

He added, “This is not a man that is committed to safety, service, or justice, he’s just committed to shameless self-promotion. That has come at the expense of the health and safety of this community, and the well-being of the women and men of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.”

Both lawsuits were filed in Orange County Superior court on Tuesday by attorney Matthew Murphy of El Segundo.  Neither plaintiff was named in the complaint.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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