Embattled Silicon Valley chief gets warm send off from boss
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen is pictured in this file photo.

The top investigator at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, who was found to have made discriminatory remarks against co-workers and others, has retired and received a glowing review by his boss.

In a Tuesday email to all staff, a copy of which was reviewed by San José Spotlight, District Attorney Jeff Rosen praised Moises Reyes, chief of the DA’s Bureau of Investigations, for his “distinguished service” to the county over a 50-year career.

Rosen also noted Reyes’ “outstanding and exemplary” work for the DA’s office and the community during his 17 years there, the last four as head of investigations.

An investigation earlier this year by the county’s Equal Opportunity Division concluded Reyes made discriminatory remarks about Black people, women and transgender people across 2021 and 2022 while at work. A report from NBC Bay Area revealed the investigation earlier this year.

The adulating email by Rosen is upsetting community advocates who say it’s disrespectful to the people Reyes discriminated against and flies in the face of Rosen’s promises to uphold equity.

“It’s a kick in the rear to his employees and the community,” the Rev. Jethroe Moore II, president of the NAACP San Jose/Silicon Valley, told San José Spotlight. “(Rosen) said he would aggressively go against racism and hatred anywhere, and he did not do it. Even for substantiated cases, he let the person go with a handshake and a smile.”

Moore wrote multiple letters to Rosen earlier this year, telling him to fire Reyes. He also called for Rosen to examine all the cases Reyes handled to see if bias played a role in his work. Rosen wrote in response to Moore in July that he is “legally barred from discussing disciplinary matters in public.”

Rosen made no mention of the sustained allegations against Reyes in his Tuesday email to his employees.

“We have tremendous admiration and respect for Chief Reyes,” Rosen wrote.

Sean Webby, a spokesperson for the DA’s office, confirmed Reyes retired on Tuesday, but did not address questions about Rosen’s email and declined to comment further.

Mike Gaynor, head of the Santa Clara County District Attorney Investigators’ Association, a union for investigators in the office, declined to comment.

“He’s a big disappointment now,” Moore said of Rosen.

The county sustained five of the 14 workplace claims made against Reyes, meaning investigators found the claims more likely than not to be true and in violation of county policies. The remaining nine claims were not sustained.

In September, San José Spotlight reported Reyes would retire on Dec. 19. It’s still unclear whether Reyes’ departure from the DA’s office is connected to the complaints against him and the investigation into his conduct. NBC Bay Area reported on Dec. 15 that district attorney employees are upset Reyes wasn’t fired, and noted the DA’s office has declined to provide records related to the investigation into Reyes.

Moore said he feels Rosen has an inherent bias and cannot be objective when it comes to issues of racism facing other minority groups.

“I wonder if this would have been something said about the Jews, if his reaction would have been different, and I believe it would have,” Moore said. “But because it was about Black people, LGBTQ people and women, he just joined the rest of the misogynist crowd. Like a good old boy, he laughed it off and it’ll go away.”

Contact Joseph Geha at [email protected] or @josephgeha16 on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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