California lawyer quits: Governor Gavin Newsom accused of meddling with Activision Blizzard lawsuit - Dexerto
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California lawyer quits: Governor Gavin Newsom accused of meddling with Activision Blizzard lawsuit

Published: 13/Apr/2022 18:42 Updated: 13/Apr/2022 19:47

by Lawrence Scotti

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A lawyer for the state of California has resigned and accused the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, of interfering with the active discrimination lawsuit against gaming publisher Activision Blizzard.

In July 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging the company fostered a “pervasive frat-boy culture,” where women were said to have been sexually harassed and received lower pay.

Since then, ActiBlizz made an $18 million settlement – in what was the first of many settlements to come – as the game developer will create a fund to support sexual harassment victims as part of the deal.

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Now, the Chief counsel for the Department of Fair Employment has been fired, leading to an assistant resigning in protest of Governor Gavin Newsom’s alleged “interference” in the Activision Blizzard case.

Activision Blizzard / Pixabay
Activision Blizzard was acquired by Microsoft in January.

California gov accused of “interference” in ActiBlizz case

A new report from Bloomberg revealed key details about the allegations leveled against Governor Newsom.

The report says Chief Counsel Janette Wipper had been suddenly fired by Newsom in March 2022, leading Melanie Proctor, the assistant chief counsel for California’s DFEH, to resign in protest.

Proctor had emailed staff members before her exit that Gov. Newsom “began to interfere” with the Activision Blizzard case.

She also said: “The Office of the Governor repeatedly demanded advance notice of litigation strategy and of next steps in the litigation. As we continued to win in state court, this interference increased, mimicking the interests of Activision’s counsel.”

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Wipper claims she “attempted to protect” the bureau, but was let go of her position. After Wipper was removed from their post, Proctor resigned on April 13, “In protest of the interference and Janette’s termination.”

Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard is being accused of fostering a “frat boy” culture.

After her firing, Janette Wipper stated she is “evaluating all avenues of legal recourse.”

In a follow-up statement to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Newsom’s spokesperson Erin Mellon called the allegation: “categorically false.”

As of now, the fate of the monumental lawsuit is uncertain.