(Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

San Bernardino Public Defender in Alleged Disgrace

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The following article in the San Bernardino Sun alleges widespread sexual misconduct in our county’s public defender’s office!

Lawsuit alleges widespread sexual misconduct at San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office

Top management perpetuated an ‘Animal House’ frat party atmosphere at the office, which serves indigent clients facing criminal charges

Four employees at the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office have filed a lawsuit alleging a longstanding culture of sexual harassment and misconduct by top management at the office, where they insist complaints fell on deaf ears.

The lawsuit, filed Friday, Nov. 5, in Orange County Superior Court, names the county and former Public Defender Gregory Christopher “Chris” Gardner as defendants. And while not named as defendants, allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct also were lodged against other top officials at the office, including Chief Deputy Public Defenders Jennie Cannady and Geoffrey Canty and Supervising Deputy Public Defenders Mark Shoup and Richard LaFianza.

Gardner, according to the lawsuit, used his position as public defender to control work assignments for certain female employees “as a subterfuge to obtain sex from female subordinates.” He allegedly carried on an extramarital affair with investigator Stacy Thacker, who claims she was coerced into the relationship.

Gardner took Thacker to a seminar, at taxpayers’ expense, where he plied her with alcohol and “took her to a hotel room … to indulge himself sexually with her,” the suit claims. When Thacker rejected Gardner’s advances, things allegedly got violent.

Gardner, the suit claims, also made threatening phone calls to her and chased her onto a freeway, swerving into her lane and cutting her off, when she threatened to reveal the affair to his wife.

The full article can be found here: https://www.sbsun.com/2021/11/08/lawsuit-alleges-widespread-sexual-misconduct-at-san-bernardino-county-public-defenders-office/