Prosecutor Punished for Posts About Maxine Waters

Deputy DA also insulted Michelle Obama, Mexicans
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 10, 2018 12:15 AM CDT
Prosecutor Disciplined for Profane Social Media Posts
Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem talks to the media earlier this year.   (Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/The Orange County Register via AP, File)

A southern California prosecutor was disciplined Monday after posting to social media crude and profane comments about Rep. Maxine Waters, Michelle Obama, Mexican immigrants, and the victim of a police shooting. Michael Selyem, a veteran deputy district attorney who handles gang prosecutions in San Bernardino County, was placed on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted, the district attorney's office says. He could ultimately lose his job. In Facebook and Instagram posts, Selyem used offensive language to describe Waters, a Democrat. Selyem used a profane term for women's anatomy to refer to the "loud mouthed" Waters and said "you would think someone would have shot this bitch by now."

Selyem's other since-deleted posts included a doctored picture of Michelle Obama holding a sign saying "Trump grabbed my penis" and one of a man in a giant sombrero with the caption "Mexican word of the day: Hide." He also posted about a person shot by police that called him a crude name and said he "got exactly what he deserved." District Attorney Mike Ramos said he learned of the comments two weeks ago after other attorneys in the office complained. While individuals have free speech rights, these must be balanced with the need for ethical and unbiased prosecutors, he says. "There's a line that you cross that it impacts the work of your office," Ramos tells the AP. "The public has trust in us, and we have to be really careful."

(More prosecutor stories.)

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