A Jersey City lawyer working for the Hudson City Public Defender’s office has filed a civil lawsuit over the anti-white and anti-male discrimination he has endured from colleagues and superiors.
According to the complaint, Joel Marasco is a highly esteemed attorney who has been working at the same Office of the Public Defender (OPD) since 2003.
Prior to the office’s change in management, Marasco’s record remained free of disciplinary blemishes and ethical violations, with regular “Exceptional” reviews of his work.
In 2019, a female employee at the office accused Marasco of “leering” at her in an elevator. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, to “leer” is “to cast a sidelong glance,” often lascivious. No accusation of accompanying harassing comments or actions were made.
Marasco disputed that he was guilty of using his eyeballs in a sexual fashion to investigators, but his female supervisors punished him anyway.
During the disciplinary hearings, Marasco alleges that he was subjected to grotesque racial slurs denigrating his Italian heritage. The complaint states that OPD managers and the accusing colleague used these ethnic slurs in emails and written communications when referring to the Plaintiff, a brazen violation of the New Jersey Law Against Racial Discrimination (NJLAD) which prohibits workplace discrimination based on sex, national origin, race and age. The female accuser that allegedly engaged in this hateful behavior was never reprimanded.
Marasco further alleges that the same clique of female managers continued to harass him after the ordeal. The systematic discrimination intensified further after a 2021 incident in which the Plaintiff exposed a stunning conflict of interest that put one of his client’s cases in jeopardy.
Marasco and a fellow public defender, Sadaf Trimarchi, were representing opposite sides in a family dispute. The two lawyers shared the same small office and used the same printer and copy machine. It became immediately clear that this created the potential for exposure of privileged information for both parties in the case when court arguments grew in intensity.
Marasco complained to his overseers that upon attempting to use the office printer, he saw Trimarchi’s documents in the machine, which naturally meant his own papers could be accessed. There were several instances where Marasco would find Trimarchi’s documents laying in the same printer tray while going to retrieve his own work, which he believed was inappropriate.
Marasco, who was representing an indigent mother in a children’s case, sought to defend his client to the fullest extent of his ability and reported this issue in good faith to the court. This is when Trimarchi is accused of being overcome by rage.
The conflict was brought to the attention of the same OPD managers who previously punished him for “leering.” Rather than mitigating the conflict of interest and addressing concerns of incompetence brought forward by the whistleblower, the OPD supervisors retaliated by suspending Marasco.
He is seeking damages and attorney’s fees for years of discrimination and violations of laws that protect whistleblowers from retaliation.
Marasco is an active Civil Rights litigator who fights for the rights of dissidents and underdogs as a board member of the Free Expression Foundation.
Ultimately, the facts alleged in the civil case will be a test of New Jersey’s extensive suite of employment discrimination laws. White people and men rarely seek to access these rights when facing institutional racism and sexism, despite the fact that they are supposed to protect everyone.
Earlier this week, a New Jersey jury ordered Starbucks to pay a former manager named Shannon Phillips $25.6 million dollars in damages after finding that the corporation fired her for her race. Following a 2018 social media invented controversy about a group of black men being denied access to a Starbucks bathroom in Philadelphia, Starbucks responded by collectively punishing all of the white employees in their Philadelphia and southern New Jersey locations solely for their race.