Our Wisconsin and Illinois readers know well the irony of when someone who is charged with enforcing the law is accused of breaking the law. That’s the paradox that is making headlines far east of us. A New Jersey prosecutor and his top assistants are being sued for gender discrimination and retaliation. All four of the defendants are male, while the three plaintiffs are female.

One of the plaintiffs worked for nearly 20 years in the Atlantic County prosecutor’s office, and says her boss “excluded the women who had skills and expertise in a particular area in favor of less senior males who had lacked those skills and experience. He did reduce the pay of myself and other females in the office.”

The Atlantic County prosecutor was appointed to his position nearly two years ago by the governor. One of the plaintiffs said a pattern of discriminatory behavior regarding women became evident within months of the appointment. She said that type of improper behavior was not the norm in her long career.

“I was a police officer for over 25 years and have served the public since my early 20s. I worked in three different prosecutors offices and for 10 different prosecutors,” she said.

The lawsuit says the county prosecutor began a campaign of retaliation against the women after he became aware that they had reported to the FBI his alleged involvement in mortgage fraud.

The prosecutor said in a statement on the lawsuit that “it is apparent that the plaintiffs are living in an alternative universe.” He went on to accuse the plaintiffs of committing “the very same conduct they accuse me and the members of my administration of committing.”

We do not know how the charges and countercharges will be resolved, but we do know that those who endure workplace discrimination and retaliation can fight back with the assistance of an attorney experienced in employment law litigation.

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