LAW FIRM FILES LAWSUIT ON BEHALF OF CITY EMPLOYEE WHO CHARGES CITY OF LOS ANGELES WITH DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES FOLLOWING HIS REFUSAL TO PARTICIPATE IN RACE-BASED DEPARTMENTAL WAR
The West Los Angeles Law firm of Trivino Perez & Associates, filed a discrimination lawsuit at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, on behalf of its client, Ninoos Y. Benjamin ("PLAINTIFF"), the current Director of Economic Division of the City of Los Angeles' Community Development Department ("CDD").
Plaintiff alleges, among other things, that the City of Los Angeles, through its two high-ranking Managing Directors, created and condoned a departmental race-based turf war between African-American leadership and the Latino departmental leadership. Additionally, the complaint charges that an Assistant General Manager, named in the lawsuit, singled Plaintiff out after he had refused to assist her in a political slander campaign against a Latino Assistant Director. Plaintiff was warned, "you are either with us, or you are against us..." referring to the African-American camp versus the Latino camp. He states that he immediately reported this incident to CDD's Director, also African-American, who ignored the complaint entirely.
The lawsuit alleges that the Plaintiff was then placed on the receiving end of daily harassment, and acts of sabotage by the defendant Assistant Director. The hostilities escalated when Plaintiff complained of other inappropriate conduct by City employees concerning misuse of public funds. Plaintiff alleges that the complaints were never investigated or taken seriously.
It is alleged that the City of Los Angeles discriminated against Mr. Benjamin by treating him differently, thrusting him into a race-based departmental war, and humiliating him because he chose not to pick a racial side; to the point where he still fears daily acts of retaliation, and strategic set-ups designed to cause him to fail, or cause the appearance of failure in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, California Government Code § 12900, et seq.
Wilfredo Trivino-Perez, Attorney for Mr. Benjamin, stated that such prohibitive misconduct must not be allowed to continue as it is not in the public's best interest to allow such unlawful conduct to persist-especially in a City as diverse as the City of Los Angeles. While we cannot control the views and inner biases and ignorant opinions of individuals; our laws do have the ability to ensure that unlawful discriminatory practices and misconduct cease immediately. As an institution of public trust, such race-based departmental turf wars within the City of Los Angeles, as alleged in this action, are simply unacceptable. Fairness and an environment free from harassment and violative conduct is all we are seeking here."