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Alameda County DA Price accused of racism, deleting records in lawsuit

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price
Thomas Hawk
Flickr / Creative Commons
Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story contained an error. It stated that Berkeley Scanner founder Emilie Raguso said her being barred from a press conference by Alameda County DA Pamela Price as "cartoonish." That was actually the description by the attorney for Price's former spokesperson, Patti Lee.

The story first broke back in March, when the Berkeley Scanner obtained a leaked confidential letter outlining the claims. This week, the former Price spokesperson Patti Lee has officially sued.

According to Oaklandside, Lee alleges that her time at the DA’s office was marred by anti-Asian discrimination. In one instance, Lee recalls the DA referring to “the media and the Asians” as her enemies.

Conflict escalated after the DA’s office barred journalist and Berkeley Scanner founder Emilie Raguso from a DA press event back in November. Lee's law firm described the act as a “cartoonish” First Amendment violation.

In her complaint, Lee believes the mistreatment of the press went even further. When media outlets requested information related to the incident, Lee claims that the office hid, deleted, and changed the records. She believes that her refusal to sign off on the tampered responses resulted in her swift termination a few days later.

Price is currently fighting a recall vote set for the November ballot. Her office did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

Afton Okwu is a rising senior at UC Berkeley and the deputy Arts and Entertainment Editor at the Daily Californian. If she isn't writing about culture, she can be found listening to Stevie Wonder in the kitchen.