New abuse charges sur­face in Calif. against EX-DYRS of­fi­cial

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY JEF­FREY AN­DER­SON

The for­mer chief of com­mit­ted ser­vices for the D.C. Depart­ment of Youth Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Ser­vices (DYRS) was ac­cused of stalk­ing and mo­lest­ing a fe­male sub­or­di­nate in the Dis­trict years be­fore sim­i­lar ac­cu­sa­tions re­cently sur­faced against him while chief pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer in Alameda County, Calif.

Cou­pled with the Alameda com­plaint, the ac­cu­sa­tions against David Muhammad, a key ar­chi­tect of the Dis­trict’s ju­ve­nile jus­tice re­form ef­fort un­der for­mer DYRS di­rec­tor Vin­cent N. Schi­raldi, sug­gest a trou­bling pat­tern and raise ques­tions about whether D.C. of­fi­cials acted dili­gently.

Mr. Muhammad “ap­par­ently has two sides to his per­sona — a public one and a dark side,” ac­cord­ing to a law­suit filed March 20 in Alameda County court by at­tor­neys for a 30year-old deputy pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer who says he sex­u­ally as­saulted her. The com­plaint re­sulted in Mr. Muhammad be­ing placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave, and it prompted the Cal­i­for­nia State At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice to take over the case be­cause the Alameda County Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice re­cused it­self.

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

The uniden­ti­fied fe­male em­ployee of DYRS who is ref­er­enced in the Alameda law­suit was walk­ing her dog at 6 a.m. out­side her apart­ment in 2009 when she spot­ted Mr. Muhammad sit­ting in a truck star­ing at her, the law­suit states. He ob­tained her per­sonal cell phone num­ber and called her on it, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, and he would sum­mon her to his of­fice on a work-re­lated pre­text then “grab her breasts and put his hands on her legs in her crotch area.”

As in the Alameda case, the fe­male DYRS em­ployee “re­peat­edly pushed him away,” the law­suit states. She re­ported Mr. Muhammad to David Brown, then DYRS’ deputy di­rec­tor, who trans­ferred her to an­other di­vi­sion un­der a dif­fer­ent su­per­vi­sor. How­ever, in an email from the em­ployee to Mr. Brown dated June 4, 2010, ob­tained by The Washington Times, she por­trays her­self as a vic­tim of re­tal­i­a­tion by Mr. Brown and oth­ers as a re­sult of her com­plaint against Mr. Muhammad.

Mr. Muhammad re­ferred to women in deroga­tory terms in the pres­ence of fe­male em­ploy­ees, the law­suit states, and was not trust­wor­thy in his deal­ings with com­mit­ted youths or em­ploy­ees. At one point, he was pur­su­ing so many sub­or­di­nate fe­male DYRS em­ploy­ees that a fe­male cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer wrote a let­ter com­plain­ing about him to then-mayor Adrian M. Fenty, the law­suit states.

Kelly Armstrong, a San Fran­cis­cobased at­tor­ney who filed the Alameda case, wrote in the law­suit that she is aware of two ad­di­tional po­ten­tial sex­ual-ha­rass­ment com­plaints by for­mer

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