Assistant attorney general resigns, claims bosses ignored sexual harassment
BATON ROUGE - A high-ranking member of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry's office is quitting his job, alleging sexual harassment ran rampant in the workplace.
The fiery resignation letter from Assistant Attorney General Matthew Derbes claims harassment from one of the agency's top employees was "open, obvious and pervasive" despite Derbes reporting the misconduct internally.
Landry held a news conference Tuesday addressing the complaint, claiming his team found some of the allegations date back several years and that others were untrue. He also said that if Derbes encountered any misconduct in the workplace, he should have reported it sooner.
"The reporting employee also engaged in similar conduct, and his text messages severely damaged his credibility throughout this investigation," Sandra Schober, deputy director of administrative services, said Tuesday.
The original complaints referenced one of Landry's top aides, Patrick Magee, who resigned last month after several accusations of harassment in the workplace surfaced publicly. The complaints alleged Magee discussed whether jurors would want to have sex with female attorneys and that he was concerned over the attractiveness of a female colleague.
Though the AG's office internal investigation found Magee's behavior inappropriate, it claimed it "did not rise to the level of sexual harassment."
In his letter, Derbes went on to claim he was denied a promotion because he reported the harassment and that a memorandum released to the media was intended to cause him "personal and professional harm."
Derbes has worked with the AG's office for 14 years. His resignation will be effective May 10, and he will take sick leave until then.
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