Prosecutor in Orange County Files $5 Million Claim Over Political Campaign

Karen Schatzle ran for office, hoping to be elected as Superior Court Judge last year, but failed to win the hearts of voters. Ever since then, she says she's been passed up for promotion because of an "unwritten policy" by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukas. That's why Schatzle has filed a $5 million claim that says she's being retaliated against for her political campaign. 

Schaztle alleges in her claim that she was warned not to run against Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner because of an 'unwritten policy' that discourages employees from running against incumbent judges. 

The veteran prosecutor lost her race Steiner last year, on a 56.3 percent to 43.7 percent margin last year. Steiner won despite having been censured in 2014 by the Commission on Judicial Performance, a state watchdog agency. The censure was a result of Steiner admitting he had sex in his chambers with two women, and calling prosecutors to help get one of the woman a job. He had also failed to disqualify himself from a case involving a close friend. 

Schatzle says after her failed campaign, she was transferred to a position at the West Justice Center in Westminster, a court furthest away from her Villa Park home, and given an assignment that she says she's over-qualified for, while being denied her requests for a promotion. 

Other employees have emerged with similar claims against Rackauckas, who say they have been punished as whistleblowers. 

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