The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office is apparently closed indefinitely, and nobody’s saying why — not even to judges and county leaders.
On Monday morning, a sign affixed to the DA’s office public window on the first floor of the Columbia County Courthouse stated: “Office temporarily closed — no staff available. Please check back this afternoon — sorry for the inconvenience.”
At about 2 p.m. Monday, Assistant District Attorney Jordan Lippert told the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office officers who operate the security system at the courthouse’s entrance that pretrial conferences have been canceled.
“I have no comments,” he said.
It was not clear whether the closure is related to Friday’s unanimous decision by the County Board’s Human Resources Department, that an unnamed employee has filed a “credible” harassment complaint against at least one person in the DA’s office, also unnamed.
The committee’s decision, made after a protracted closed-session discussion Friday, is based on a letter the complaining employee submitted to Ruf in February. Ruf said he could not comment on the nature of the alleged harassment. The matter has been turned over to the County Board’s Judiciary Committee for further investigation; the Judiciary Committee oversees the operations of the DA’s office.