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Prosecutor Leaks Images of Public Defender: Smear Campaigns the trend of 2016

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A breakdown in inter-office professionalism occurred when Deputy Public Defender Christina Behle of Los Angeles, California filed a lawsuit seeking damages against LA County District Attorney Lisa Tanner. The third actor? Deputy Public Defender Michael Tanner, the separated yet not divorced spouse of Lisa Tanner. The suit alleges invasion of privacy, negligent (and intentional) interference with “prospective economic advantage” and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

NBC Los Angeles reported, “The relationship between Behle and Michael Tanner left Lisa ‘deeply enraged’ … she ‘made the conscious decision to publicy and professionally humiliate Behle in retaliation,’” as was argued in the suit. Tanner then supposedly instructed her daughter to delve into certain files on her father’s smartphone in order to retrieve materials of a “compromising nature,” ranging from intimate texts to explicit photos.

The plaintiff further states she was informed that the Deputy Attorney then distributed the photos to “dozens of [the] DA’s office employees,” after she sent the plaintiff the same photos with a caption “send your pathetic photos to someone else’s husband.”

Deputy District Attorney Tanner has yet to file a response to the supposed invasion of privacy, so the idea that the defendant would dispute certain allegations is inevitably a possibility. However, the plaintiff alleges that she was denied a promotion to “grade V” because of the situation, and that she felt forced to “take the next week off from work” upon suffering serious emotional distress, consciously grappling with the fact that her colleagues had seen the photos.

The unfortunate aspects of this story are plenty. Yet, those most affected by this case are not the plaintiffs nor the defendants, but those suspected and accused of criminal wrongdoing in the LA area. The potentially grueling, disturbing, and hostile environment between the DA’s and Public Defender’s Office will amost certainly negatively affect those most in need of support by the Office of the Public Defender, and those in desparate need of reprieve by the District Attorney’s Office.

This is a new-low in the realm of legal professionalism and attorney ethics, and one that will invariably result in a negative outcome for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of area residents caught in the bounds of the criminal justice system…

More to come.

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Do you think growing animosity between the District Attorney and Public Defender’s Office will create a negative effect on the citizens of Los Angeles County? Comment Below!