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Deputy Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Chief Probation Officer

Chief Probation Officer David Muhammad has been on paid administrative leave since Feb. 14 after the deputy probation officer filed a $1.5 million claim against him.

Bay City News — An Alameda County deputy probation officer filed a lawsuit today alleging that Chief Probation Officer David Muhammad sexually harassed her.

The county Board of Supervisors after the employee filed a $1.5 million claim against him.

The employee's attorney, Kelly Armstrong, said today that the lawsuit, which names Muhammad and Alameda County as defendants, is seeking unspecified general, special and punitive damages.

The Board of Supervisors hired Muhammad a year ago after he held top probation positions in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Armstrong said it appears that the board was "negligent" in hiring Muhammad because an employee who worked for him in Washington, D.C., alleges that he also sexually harassed her.

Armstrong said two other potential complaints by female employees who worked for Muhammad in Washington are also being investigated.

In the lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court, the 30-year-old deputy probation officer alleges that Muhammad harassed her at a probation office in Hayward on May 15 when he noticed a discoloration on her neck, laughed and joked about it and called it a "hickey."

The deputy alleges that four days later, on the morning of May 19, Muhammad asked her to pick him up at Oakland International Airport and drive him to a speaking engagement in Oakland but then instructed her to take him to the San Leandro Marina instead.

Once at the marina, the deputy alleges, Muhammad grabbed her head and started kissing her, telling her, "We would make some pretty babies."

The suit states that the deputy tried to pull back from Muhammad but he became aggressive and sexually assaulted her, kissing her and forcibly touching her breasts and vagina.

The deputy said that a day later, on May 20, Muhammad sent her multiple text messages. Concerned about what would happen to her job if she rebuffed him, she agreed to meet him and his brother at a restaurant in Hayward, according to the suit.

At the end of the night, the suit alleges, he again began to grope her.

The deputy claims she pulled away and reiterated to Muhammad that she only wanted to be friends, and that Muhammad eventually became upset and left.

The suit alleges that the deputy probation officer has suffered economic harm and has experienced mental distress and anguish.

Armstrong said she believes it is unfair that Muhammad in on paid administrative leave while the deputy officer is on unpaid leave. She said the officer is on medical leave due to the injuries she suffered when Muhammad allegedly sexually assaulted her.

The California Attorney General's Office is conducting an investigation to see whether criminal charges should be filed against Muhammad.

The Board of Supervisors on Friday , to serve as acting chief probation officer.

Muhammad and Alameda County officials weren't immediately available for comment on the lawsuit.

Thomas Clarke March 21, 2012 at 04:23 PM
While David Muhammad has not been convicted of felony sexual harrassment, he should resign immediately. If he does not the BOS should remove him from office and cut off the pay. Muhammad is at least as culpable as Ross Mirkarimi, who has done a tiny part towards doing the right thing, he plead guilty to a lesser charge. Muhammad has done nothing. Do not forget that David Muhammad was brought to this job by Nate Miley, if you were looking for another reason to vote Miley out. His judgement is nearly as poor as that of Muhammad.
Zinn March 21, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Wait a minute... The victim is assaulted at Marina Park then goes to meet him and his brother later? Went because she was afraid of losing her job then spent the better part of the night with him and brother before he groped her again and he ends up leaving first???? Unless the text messages prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was inappropriate I don't believe a thing she says....
Big D April 20, 2012 at 01:12 AM
@ Zinn .......Victims of traumatizing incidents aren't in the right mind frame to make "right" decisions so your in no position where anyone cares if you believe a thing " she says". If this was your mother, daughter, sister would you have that same attitude....hmmmm makes you wonder ........
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