Contra Costa County and its district attorney’s office have settled a gender and age discrimination lawsuit filed by a five deputy district attorneys that was set for trial in October.
Deputy district attorneys Mary Elizabeth Knox, Mary Elizabeth Blumberg, Alison Jayne Chandler, Jill Henderson, and Rachel Piersig said they were demoted, denied promotions, and otherwise hindered in their career advancement after DA Diana Becton took over leadership of the office in 2017.
According to the lawsuit, Becton favored less qualified male and younger attorneys and systemically discriminated against female deputy DAs, an accusation Becton denied.
Her office announced Thursday that the County Board of Supervisors had approved an out-of-court settlement in the case, with the county agreeing to pay the five plaintiffs a total sum of $2.2 million dollars, which includes costs and attorneys’ fees.
The settlement resolves all claims and includes a dismissal of the lawsuit. The County felt this
was the best approach to allow the District Attorney’s Office to move forward, according to a prepared release.