SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Allegations of racism and electioneering by deputies in the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office are under investigation by the county.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports a deputy attorney's remark concerning Republican District Attorney Lohra Miller's Democratic challenger, Sam Gill, and perceived pressure to support Miller are being investigated by the county's Human Resources Division.
That they feel comfortable that the culture in the office is such that a racist comment can be made -- I find that deeply troubling.
The deputy is accused of saying "no white soccer mom south of 21st South will vote for someone with brown skin and the name of Simarjit."
While slapping three attorneys with a verbal warning, an internal DA probe suggests the offending comment was intended to be critical of "very conservative" voters in the south valley.
He's making an issue where there is none. I believe just as strongly as he does that discrimination based on gender or race should not be tolerated.
The remark was made during a Sept. 22 meeting of Miller's domestic-violence unit, according to the internal report obtained by the Tribune. That report prompted a complaint to the county's Equal Employment Opportunity office.
The internal report includes interviews with four office employees but redacts the names. The four concede the comments were inappropriate but deny any electioneering for Miller or malice toward Gill.
Gill, whose family emigrated to the U.S. from India decades ago, accused Miller of allowing a culture to exist where such a remark could be made.
"That they feel comfortable that the culture in the office is such that a racist comment can be made -- I find that deeply troubling," Gill told the Tribune.
Miller said no such "culture" problem exists.
"He's making an issue where there is none," she said. "I believe just as strongly as he does that discrimination based on gender or race should not be tolerated."
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