San Joaquin district attorney loses retaliation lawsuit

STOCKTON - San Joaquin County and its district attorney, James Willett , lost a federal civil case this week in which Willett was accused by a former co-worker of discrimination and retaliation.

Former investigator Janis Trulsson accused Willett of passing her over for a promotion in favor of someone else. She charged both retaliation and gender discrimination in the suit. A jury on Monday ruled in her favor on the retaliation issue. She did not succeed on the discrimination allegation.

The jury awarded Trulsson more than $2 million in past earnings lost, future earnings lost, and pain and suffering. The trial lasted about three weeks.

San Joaquin County counsel Kristen Hegge said Tuesday her office finds the damage award "excessive and unjustified" and said the office is considering an appeal.

Willett is scheduled to retire from the district attorney's office later this year.


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