Crime & Justice

Injuction issued ordering LA officials not to discriminate against prosecutors in union

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against District Attorney Steve Cooley and other L.A. 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 Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II, came in a lawsuit filed by the Association 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, The Los Angeles Times reported.

County lawyers disputed the claims, saying the union was using the lawsuit to get the upper hand in contract negotiations, The Times reported. But Wright concluded the union probably would 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, according to The Times.

He also found that the county was improperly charging union members more than it charges nonmembers for medical coverage.