Gammick seeks order

Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick has asked a federal court for an order barring his being asked about an alleged office relationship during a deposition in a sexual harassment case.

The DA’s office and various other defendants—not including Gammick—are being sued for claimed harassment against plaintiffs Amy Peterson and Anje Earl, investigative assistants in the office who serve subpoenas. They assert harassment by another process server in the office.

Gammick’s request, filed by attorney Stephen Balkenbush, argues that an “inquiry into whether Richard Gammick had an affair/sexual relationship with [a former DA’s office employee] at any time serves no useful purpose … save and except, an attempt to publicly humiliate [the woman and her husband] and Mr. Gammick and invade their privacy interests and their right to be let alone.”

Peterson and Earl’s attorney Mark Mausert charged that Gammick ignored an office climate that encouraged sexual harassment and also initiated a “retaliatory investigation against defendant Earl in order to attempt to prove she is unchaste, and therefore worthy of termination.” If Earl’s private conduct is fair game, Mausert argued, so is Gammick’s, because it would have contributed to the alleged climate of tolerance of sexual harassment.

Balkenbush’s filing said Gammick was prepared to “provide the court with an affidavit … confirming that he had no affair/sexual relationship with [the staff member] during the entire time he served as district attorney for Washoe County.” However, one of Mausert’s filings contended that the claimed affair occurred before Gammick became DA and because both parties were married, it conferred “extraordinary power” upon the staffer in the office. It also argues that Gammick failed to recuse himself from personnel matters involving her.