The former head of the investigations unit at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office has signaled his intent to sue by filing a claim against his former employer with a state agency, a state official confirmed Wednesday.
Craig Hunter, who was placed on leave last month, filed a “right to sue” claim against the D.A.’s office on April 28 with the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, according to agency spokesman Fahizah Alim.
It was not immediately clear if the claim was rejected, which must occur before a lawsuit can be filed.
On April 24, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas issued a memo to staff saying Hunter and Assistant Chief Lou Gutierrez had been placed on leave, but did not explain why. He said he would mount a national search for a new chief of the investigations bureau.
Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer — a frequent critic of Rackauckas who is mulling a run for his job — said last month that attorney David Gernsbacher complained to county officials in April 2015 about “sex texts” Hunter allegedly exchanged with the lawyer’s fiancee.
Gernsbacher sent the email to Hunter’s wife, Lisa Hunter, an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, and copied the email to the Board of Supervisors and other county officials.
Gernsbacher alleged that Hunter sent “sex texts and lewd naked pictures” on his “county supplied and/or paid for cellphone …” Gernsbacher also claimed the illicit text messages were sent during business hours from July 4, 2014, through Aug. 25, 2014.
Hunter has declined to comment.
–City News Service
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