The Activision-Blizzard scandal just keeps on scandaling – and drawing more people and agencies into its ugly orbit. Bloomberg has a piece up today chronicling the fate of the attorneys who were overseeing the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s sexual discrimination and harassment lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard, which was filed last summer.
According to Bloomberg, no less than California Governor Gavin Newsom has now stepped into the headlines, having “abruptly” fired one of those attorneys, Chief Counsel Janette Wipper, which then led to the protest resignation of Assistant Chief Counsel Melanie Proctor. In a memo to staff, Proctor reportedly accused Newsom and his staff of attempting to “interfere” in the conducting of lawsuit, ostensibly on Activision-Blizzard’s behalf.
“The Office of the Governor repeatedly demanded advance notice of litigation strategy and of next steps in the litigation,” Proctor wrote. “As we continued to win in state court, this interference increased, mimicking the interests of Activision’s counsel.” She says Wipper, her former boss, was fired for protecting the DFEH’s “independence;” Wipper is now apparently considering pursuing claims under the California Whistleblower Protection Act.
The DFEH had also raised objections to Activision-Blizzard’s shockingly low-value settlement with the federal EEOC, but California’s objections were rejected. At this point, it is unclear what will happen to the lawsuit.