UPDATE (5:05 p.m. PT) — Deschutes County announced Friday it’s investigating complaints by a former employee who says she was discriminated against because of her gender and race.
Jasmyn Troncoso worked as a deputy district attorney from July 2019 until she resigned earlier this month. She said she intends to sue the county over her treatment.
“Ms. Troncoso alleges she was treated horribly by colleagues during her employment with Deschutes County and she alleges this treatment was motivated by her race and gender,” the county said in a statement Friday.
The Bend Bulletin was first to report that Troncoso, who is Mexian-American, had filed the tort claim.
Troncoso’s attorney said she was the only Spanish-speaking attorney of color on staff and was subjected to sex and race-based harassment.
Staff allegedly accused her of being “dumb,” “ditzy” and having an eating disorder, which she does not, her attorney said. Male attorneys in the office were not subjected to similar comments.
She was also allegedly falsely accused of having an affair and called a “slut” by other staff members in the office.
“All the above issues were reported up the chain of command to Steve Grunnels, Mary Anderson and Stacy Neil,” all leaders in the district attorney’s office, the tort claim states. “While they appeared sympathetic to her concerns, they failed to take reasonable steps to stop the conduct thereby causing the harassment to continue to spiral.”
Troncoso spoke with Spanish-speaking victims and others who called the district attorney’s office seeking information. One staff member, Vonda Lacovetta, allegedly overheard a conversation and said something along the lines of, “This is America. Speak f***ing English,” the tort claim says.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said what Troncoso alleges is “outrageous, despicable and has no place in our society.” In a statement, he said he was “shocked.”
“I’ve never seen the type of conduct alleged by Ms. Troncoso, and would be surprised, disappointed and angry if it turns out to be true,” Hummel’s statement read.
He vowed he would do everything in his power to “right the wrong and to ensure it never happens again” if the allegations are true.