Some of our regular commenters apparently have been straining at the bit to talk about this situation, so here it is, from the article we carried in yesterday’s print editions:
MARTINEZ — An arbitrator has reversed Contra Costa County’s firing of a veteran prosecutor accused of raping a junior colleague at his Martinez home nearly three years ago, backing Michael Gressett’s claim that the pursuit of rape charges by the District Attorney’s Office was “tainted by political animosity,” according to a copy of the ruling obtained by Bay Area News Group.
In a sharp rebuke of the county, arbitrator Norman Brand rejected six causes for dismissing Gressett, 54, including the rape allegation. Brand ordered the county to reinstate Gressett with full back-pay and benefits. He earned $140,000 in annual salary before his firing in July 2009.
Whether Gressett ever returns to work as a county prosecutor is doubtful. He remains the subject of a 13-count criminal indictment accusing him of raping the former colleague at his Martinez condominium in May 2008, using an ice pick and a handgun. Gressett, who worked in the sex crimes unit, argues that the sex was consensual. He pleaded not guilty in October.
He will likely be placed on paid administrative leave, said Mark Harrison, an investigator working for Gressett.
“He will immediately be placed back on the payroll. He’ll be put on the books today,” Harrison said.