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Judge: Cooley's retaliation against union members 'striking and rampant'

March 2, 2010 |  6:53 pm

A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday against Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and other Los Angeles County officials, ordering them not to discipline or discriminate against prosecutors for belonging to the union that represents hundreds of local deputy district attorneys.

The order, issued by http://opinion.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c7de353ef0120a78ead93970b-320wiU.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II, came in a lawsuit filed by the Assn. of Deputy District Attorneys alleging that Cooley and others demoted, transferred and gave mediocre performance reviews to prosecutors as part of an anti-union campaign.

County lawyers disputed the claims, saying the union was using the lawsuit to get the upper hand in contract negotiations.

But Wright concluded the union would likely win its case, saying evidence established retaliation against union members “that is both striking and rampant.”

The judge wrote that the county did not dispute allegations that Cooley instructed one prosecutor to “undermine” or interfere with the union and that the prosecutor was demoted when he refused. 

Wright also noted that several other union board members complained they had been transferred to lesser assignments against their will. And the judge found that the county was improperly charging union members more than it charges non-members for medical coverage.

--Jack Leonard