The Herbert Walker III scandal at the SAO is disturbing for several reasons. First, as we all learned from President Nixon, it is the cover up that will get you.
What did the State Attorney know, and when did she know it?
Are we to believe that Walker’s sexual harassment and battery on employees and people he supervised, including unpaid law school interns was suddenly revealed to the State Attorneys Office on Friday December 28, 2007 at coincidentally the very same day the office decided to fire two other attorneys for unrelated conduct?
Some readers who posted in the comments section have said that Walkers lewd conduct was an open secret at the SAO for years, to the point where interns and attorneys and support staff went out of their way to avoid working with him.
As we asked the other day, is anyone reviewing Walker’s cases to see if his personal demons affected the fairness of how he treated female defendants or female defense attorneys?
And just how did someone who exhibited this type of behavior get at job, and manage to keep his job and get promoted to a supervisory position at the SAO? Is the State Attorney and her staff reviewing hiring and promotion policies. What about the clear indication that employees were frightened to come forward? What is being done to promote a safer and secure working environment at the SAO?
And finally and most importantly, why was Walker allowed to resign when arguably his conduct was criminal, when an intern who was promoting a charity at Safe Space- which is a shelter where women can find safety from people like Herbert Walker III- was fired. Doesn’t anybody at the SAO see the problem with that?
The Herald’s article with Walker’s comments is HERE
Beyond Walker’s ridiculous statement that he resigned solely to find a better paying job (he quit with no apparent job offers) is the statement from the State Attorney’s office’s employee relations lawyer that Walker was allowed to resign or face being fired over the allegations. (with employees like Walker, it is now obvious why the office needs an “employee relations lawyer”. Just wondering if the PDs office has an ”employee relations lawyer”?)
UPDATE: We received this anonymous comment which makes a world of sense to us:
Hey, Herald lady:You really missed the issues. Poor job.If Walker decided on a random Friday afternoon to quit -- where is he going? Did he have his new business cards? Did he give the required notice? Did he complete the transfer memos on his cases?I know the answers. You do not get to answer those questions when they are not asked. He was given only moments to decide to resign or be fired.
Or are to we conclude that the SAO has a policy where its one thing to touch a woman’s breast against her will, but it is quite a more serious matter to donate toys to a woman’s shelter? Is that really the message they want to send? Because as it sits now, the objective facts speak to the conclusion that the State Attorneys Office either doesn’t view sexual harassment and battery within their work place as all that serious, or they went to extreme measures to cover up Walker’s conduct.
Either way you look at it, something still smells over there on 12th Street and 12th Avenue. If Walker touched a prosecutor against her will in an offensive manner while she was at work, does that not constitute probable cause to begin an investigation into battery? The State Attorneys Office has a policy against letting any victim "drop charges". Doesn't the prosecutors office have a responsibility to initiate a criminal investigation when they learn of facts sufficient to constitute probable cause for a crime?
When the State Attorney can manage to squeeze in a few days work from her vacations in South America, we’d like some answers to these questions.