Former Prosecutor Accuses Sutter County DA’s Office of Racial Discrimination

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YUBA CITY -- A former prosecutor is accusing the Sutter County District Attorney’s office of racial discrimination and harassment.

And those are just the beginning of the claims in a federal lawsuit filed against the county.

A former deputy district attorney is now suing her former colleagues in federal court saying, while she was fighting for justice, they were treating her unjustly.

For 10 years Anu Chopra considered the Sutter County District Attorney’s office home, but her last year there felt more like hell.

Now she’s suing Sutter County and as many as 50 unnamed associates for racial discrimination, hostile work environment, retaliation and failure to prevent discrimination.

“Every day I had to come to work and be the prosecutor I took the oath to be and fight for justice, while there was so much injustice going on within the office against me,” Chopra said.

Chopra says in 2015 she and current District Attorney Amanda Hopper disagreed over the way Hopper handled a case.

“I think that was the beginning of the end, and then things just progressed," Chopra said.

Chopra’s lawsuit also calls out Jason Parker, the lead investigator for the Sutter County District Attorney’s office.

Chopra claims Parker, a former Yuba City police detective, repeatedly made racist comments and threats. In April 2015 she says Parker threatened to post a video on an ISIS website posing Chopra’s young children as terrorists.

Chopra, a native of India, says Parker pressured her to quit her job, called her “middle eastern," said “middle easterners are all animals and rapists” and made fun of her accent.

According to Chopra, Parker downloaded what she considered to be an offensive ringtone of a person with a heavy Middle Eastern accent saying, “Pick up the telephone." Chopra says he linked the ringtone to her contact number so the ringtone played when Chopra called Parker. She says he played the ringtone publicly over the course of months within the hearing of their other colleagues.

“It was horrifying hate speech, and it's far more than bullying because it makes you feel inferior and it really makes you embarrassed,” Chopra said.

Chopra claims DA Hopper laughed at Parker’s behavior.

Chopra was fired last summer; she says she was wrongly terminated.

“This is a bigger issue than just how much I suffered," Chopra said. "This community is diverse, it flourishes on diversity and in diversity we have strength, so we have to hold our elected officials accountable."

DA Hopper responded to FOX40’s request for comment with the statement below.

“In her court complaint, Ms. Chopra alleges that she was terminated from her position as a deputy district attorney, and also makes inflammatory and false allegations. My office intends to defend itself against the allegations, and will seek to strike out scandalous and false accusations from Ms. Chopra’s court complaint. I am proud of the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office, the work we do, the team we now have, and the integrity we have exhibited throughout this process. Please note that I am not at liberty to comment on the facts as this is a pending case."

FOX40 attempted to reach out to Jason Parker via email and telephone, however, as of Friday March 31, we have not heard back. March 31 is a state holiday and the Sutter County District Attorney’s office was closed for business.

FOX40 also called a spokesperson for Sutter County who said they do not comment on pending litigation.

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