Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has been sued by two former prosecutors who claim Krasner fired them on the grounds of age discrimination, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The prosecutors were asked to resign in January 2018, three days after Krasner took office, the Inquirer reported. When they refused, they were fired and replaced by younger prosecutors whom the plaintiffs claim were less experienced, according to the lawsuit. This brings the number of people who have alleged age or race discrimination by Krasner to six, the Inquirer reported.
Three former prosecutors sued Krasner in September 2019 for age discrimination, and a fourth, longtime Victim Services Director Tami Levin, filed a lawsuit in July 2019 alleging she was fired because she was white, the Inquirer reported.
Mark Gilson, a homicide prosecutor, and E. Marc Costanzo, former chief of the Special Victims Unit, both 58, filed the lawsuit last week. The prosecutors contended that they were capable of doing the work assigned to their replacements.
An additional 29 members of the office were also fired the same day. At the beginning of his term, Krasner moved to fill his administration with lawyers who share his progressive views. The firings came as a shock to many of those let go and came with no explanation from Krasner, the Inquirer reported. One staff member reported not being allowed to speak to Krasner on the day of his firing, and a terminated prosecutor claimed the dismissals were “personal and vindictive,” according to the Inquirer.
The District Attorney has the power to terminate all non-represented employees at any time, Krasner's spokesperson Jane Roh told the Inquirer.
Krasner was sworn in as District Attorney in January 2018 after promising to transform the office, which he described as “off the rails” during his campaign. Krasner describes himself as a progressive Democrat and hopes to achieve criminal justice reform during his time in office.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.