A former San Bernardino County gang prosecutor suspended in the wake of racist rants he published on social media has resigned from the district attorney’s office.
Michael Selyem, a former Orange County sheriff’s deputy-turned-prosecutor, voluntarily resigned from his post Jan 2., according to a county spokeswoman. Selyem’s resignation comes six months after the county launched an investigation into offensive comments he made online.
The top gang prosecutor drew the ire of civil rights leaders in July after Southern California News Group newspapers unearthed several racist and xenophobic rants posted to Facebook and Instagram in which he disparaged Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and former first lady Michelle Obama. Selyem also attacked the unnamed victim of a police shooting in one of the posts.
Per his separation agreement with the county, Selyem will continue to be paid through April 26, the San Bernardino Sun reported. His annual salary is $155,168.
The six-page agreement also stipulates that Selyem will not sue the county and that any unemployment insurance awarded to the former prosecutor “is not, in any manner, to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of either party.”
The district attorney’s office was flooded with complaints over Selyem’s rants, sparking an investigation. In one of the posts, he took aim at congresswoman Waters, whom he called a “loud-mouthed c–t in the ghetto-” and wondered why someone hasn’t “shot this bitch by now.”
The Sun, who first reported the investigation into his comments, also pointed to a profanity-laden argument about a police shooting where Selyem wrote “that sh-tbag got exactly what he deserved.” It’s unclear which police shooting he was referring to, however.
Another of the prosecutor’s posts featured a doctored image of Mrs. Obama holding up a sign that read “Trump grabbed my penis.” Selyem, who was tasked with cracking down on gangs, which were predominately Latino, also shared an image of a man wearing a giant sombrero with the words, “Mexican word of the day: Hide.”
Civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, took issue with Selyem’s comments and called for his immediate termination from the DA’s office. At the time, former District Attorney Mike Ramos said he was “offended” by the remarks and ordered an internal investigation after his office received a complaint in late June, according to the newspaper.
Selyem, a 12-year-veteran of the DA’s office, was placed on leave July 9.
New District Attorney Jason Anderson, who was sworn in Tuesday, said he had spoken with civil rights leaders upset with the social media comments and assured them “there’s no place for any prejudice or bias in the DA’s office.”
“I assured them that there would be no place for that in my office going forward,” Anderson told The Sun.