FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two Long-Tenured Homicide Prosecutors have Filed Age Discrimination Claims Against the City of Philadelphia and District Attorney Larry Krasner
Attorneys Sidney L. Gold, Esquire of Sidney L. Gold and Associates, P.C. and Robert A. Davitch, Esquire of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. have filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Philadelphia on behalf of Carlos Vega and Joseph Whitehead, Jr. against the City of Philadelphia and Larry Krasner, District Attorney for the City, alleging that Mr. Vega and Mr. Whitehead were fired from their jobs as Homicide Prosecutors in the City’s DA’s Office on January 5, 2018 because of their ages (61 and 64).
Mr. Vega and Mr. Whitehead claim that they were given an ultimatum by the newly-elected DA Krasner that if they did not resign on January 5, 2018 they would be fired, and that when they refused to resign that day, they were ordered to clear out their offices and exit the building. Mr. Vega had worked in the City’s DA’s Office as a Prosecutor since 1982, and Mr. Whitehead had been a Prosecutor for the City since 1989. They allege that they had long, successful and distinguished careers with the City, with excellent reputations for competence, ethics and integrity, and no history of disciplinary action.
They further contend that during the course of Mr. Krasner’s campaign for District Attorney in 2017, he made a series of public comments that revealed his personal hostility toward older Prosecutors who had worked in the DA’s Office for many years, as well as his preference and affinity for young Prosecutors. As one example, Mr. Vega and Mr. Whitehead point out in their Complaint that during a radio interview in October 2017, Mr. Krasner stated that “the old guard” in the DA’s Office “is in control,” “is not desiring change at all,” and “needs to go.”
According to court documents, Mr. Vega and Mr. Whitehead also claim that after the City and Mr. Krasner forced them out of their jobs, they were replaced by or had their responsibilities assigned to young, less experienced Prosecutors who are not as qualified. Mr. Vega and Mr. Whitehead are seeking damages for lost wages, loss of retirement benefits under the City’s Deferred Retirement Option Program, liquidated damages equal to the value of their economic losses, and damages for emotional distress, embarrassment and humiliation, loss of self-esteem, and harm to reputation.
The caption of the case is Carlos Vega and Joseph Whitehead, Jr. v. City of Philadelphia and Lawrence S. Krasner, Civil Action No. 19-4039 (E.D.Pa.). The case has been assigned to the Honorable Gene E. K. Pratter. Mr. Vega is represented by Robert A. Davitch of the law firm of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C., 1101 Market Street, Suite 2700, Philadelphia, PA 19107, phone number (215) 574-0600. Mr. Whitehead is represented by Sidney L. Gold of the law firm of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., 1835 Market Street, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19103, phone number (215) 569-1999.