EX-DYRS of­fi­cial faces ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual as­sault in new Cal­i­for­nia job

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY JEF­FREY AN­DER­SON

A key ar­chi­tect of the Dis­trict’s ju­ve­nile jus­tice re­form ef­fort while with the Depart­ment of Youth Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Ser­vices is on paid leave from his job as chief pro­ba­tion off icer in Alameda County, Calif., af­ter a deputy pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer ac­cused him of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her in May.

David Muhammad, also known as David Gaither, is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion based on the woman’s $1.5 mil­lion le­gal claim, ac­cord­ing to news re­ports say­ing the case was turned over to the Cal­i­for­nia State At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice af­ter the Alameda County Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice re­cused it­self.

Mr. Muhammad, 38, has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions and said he will co­op­er­ate fully with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

At­tor­neys for the 30-year-old ac­cuser said in a Feb. 3 claim that prob­lems with Mr. Muhammad be­gan in May 2011 when he touched her neck, com­mented in­ap­pro­pri­ately about a small bruise and twice put his hands on her, ac­cord­ing to re­ports in the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle.

Her claim states that later that month, af­ter she picked up Mr. Muhammad at the Oak­land In­ter­na­tional Air­port and was driv­ing him to a speak­ing en­gage­ment, he di­rected her to a nearby ma­rina, where he grabbed her and started kiss­ing her, say­ing, “We would make some pretty ba­bies.”

The claim fur­ther states that Mr. Muhammad then pulled the woman’s shirt down, pinned her with his el­bow, as­saulted her and made ob­scene com­ments. A day later, the at­tor­neys wrote that Mr. Muhammad sent her text mes­sages re­quest­ing to meet with her. The deputy’s claim states that she met Mr. Muhammad and his brother at a res­tau­rant, but that af­ter­ward, as she was driv­ing Mr. Muhammad to his car, he again mo­lested her and forced her hand into his groin area.

DYRS of­fi­cials did not respond to re­quests for com­ment.

Dur­ing his ten­ure in the Dis­trict, Mr. Muhammad was the right-hand man to for­mer DYRS Di­rec­tor Vin­cent N. Schi­raldi, and, ac­cord­ing to his

web­site, he man­aged a 300-per­son staff and a $42 mil­lion an­nual bud­get while over­see­ing 900 youth com­mit­ted to DYRS.

Mr. Schi­raldi left in 2010 to be­come com­mis­sioner of the New York City Depart­ment of Pro­ba­tion, where Mr. Muhammad joined him as deputy com­mis­sioner. Mr. Muhammad soon left New York and as­sumed the po­si­tion of chief pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer in Alameda County in De­cem­ber 2010. Of­fi­cials there have not pub­licly com­mented on the decision to place him on paid leave.

An Oak­land, Calif., na­tive, Mr. Muhammad re­ceived a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in jour­nal­ism from Howard Univer­sity and has re­ceived awards for his work in ad­vo­cat­ing for trou­bled youth. Dur­ing his fre­quent public ap­pear­ances, he speaks openly of his own trou­bles as a youth raised in in­ner-city poverty and of the need to help crim­i­nal of­fend­ers lead pro­duc­tive lives.

JES­SICA CAR­PEN­TER/THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Mo­town leg­end Smokey Robin­son holds a news con­fer­ence Fri­day be­fore speak­ing to the stu­dent body at Duke Elling­ton School of the Arts in Washington. He is im­pressed with a mem­ber of the me­dia who names some artists who cov­ered his songs, and he jokes that the re­porter gets bonus points for do­ing his home­work.

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