A top gang prosecutor in San Bernardino County has been put on administrative leave while the District Attorney’s Office investigates discriminatory comments he made on social media, District Attorney Mike Ramos said Monday.
San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Selyem is accused of making profanity-laced comments about Rep. Maxine Waters, former first lady Michelle Obama and Mexican immigrants.
He called Waters a loudmouth who he thought someone in the ghetto would have shot by now.
He also said a Mexican immigrant shot by police got what he deserved.
Both Selyem’s Facebook and Instagram accounts have been deleted.
Ramos said his office received a complaint about the comments on June 28 and immediately launched a personnel investigation.
“The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office does not condone hate, discrimination or incitement of violence,” Ramos said during a news conference. “Our community and our entire criminal justice system depends on having a fair, ethical and unbiased prosecutor.”
Selyem, who has been a lead attorney in the Central Hardcore Gang Unit for 12 years, faces disciplinary action that could include termination, Ramos said.
Ramos said he was offended by the comments and was especially concerned with comments that involved officer-involved shootings, cases that prosecutors handle on a daily basis.
Selyem has not responded to multiple calls seeking comment. He hung up on a reporter from the Southern California News Group when reached by phone on Friday and did not return calls and emails seeking comment, according to the newspaper. The newspaper posted the social media posts before they were taken down.
Rep. Pete Aguilar, R-San Bernardino, called for Selyem’s firing.
“We cannot allow racism and bigotry to have a place in our society, especially not in our government. The comments made by Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem are unacceptable, and he should be fired immediately.”