San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem, 50, also landed in hot water after posting on Facebook and Instagram mocking Mexican immigrants and saying that a victim of police violence had it coming.
Selyem, a 12-year veteran of the prosecutor’s office who specializes in gang cases, also wrote “I am all for white males immigrating here legally and starting a business. It is the terrorists a–holes sneaking in here wanting to kill me an (sic) my family that I’m opposed to.”
The prosecutor also posted a photo of a man in a sombrero that says, “Mexican word of the day: Hide,” according to the paper.
San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos said that an investigation was launched by the county human resources department on June 28, the date his office found out about the comments.
“The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office does not condone hate, discrimination or the incitement of violence. Our community and the entire criminal justice system depend on having a fair, ethical and unbiased prosecutor,” Ramos said at a Monday press conference. He said that Selyem would be on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
Ramos said that the investigation must balance the prosecutor’s First Amendment rights with his office’s integrity within the community.
“I’ve taken it very seriously and that’s why he’s on paid administrative leave, which could lead up to termination,” he said. Ramos said that he was personally offended by the comments.
“The San Bernardino’s office does not condone hate,” he said. Selyem’s cases have all been transferred to other prosecutors and are being reviewed.
Ramos said that his office has no social media policy, but Selyem’s post could violate the general code of conduct for prosecutors.
The county prosecutor said that he’s concerned that prior and current prosecutions are now in jeopardy because of his comments.
Zeke Hernandez, president of the local chapter of League of United Latin American Citizens, called for Selyem to be fired.
“The (comments) are ugly and they should never have been posted,” he said Monday. “(Ramos) should lay the law down and take some decisive action.”
Selyem could not be reached for comment by phone. He did not immediately respond to a call for comment.