San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos discusses the discriminatory comments posted online by San Bernardino County prosecutor Michael Selyem during a press conference in San Bernardino on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Photo by Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com and Teri Sforza | tsforza@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: July 9, 2018 at 2:58 pm |

SAN BERNARDINO — A top gang prosecutor at the center of a political firestorm over a series of offensive social media posts has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of an administrative investigation.

At a news conference Monday, District Attorney Mike Ramos said he was “offended” by Michael Selyem’s comments on Facebook and Instagram, and ordered an internal investigation after his office received a complaint on June 28.

“The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office does not condone hate, discrimination or incitement of violence,” Ramos said during the news conference at the District Attorney’s Office. “Our community and the entire criminal justice system depends on having a fair, ethical, and unbiased prosecutor. We must insist on that — an unbiased prosecutor.”

At the conclusion of the internal probe, disciplinary action will be considered, including possible termination, Ramos said. Meanwhile, Selyem’s pending cases have been reassigned to other prosecutors.
Michael Selyem, the lead hard-core gang prosecutor in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, is under internal investigation for a series of offensive posts on social media accounts that have now been deleted. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/The Sun/SCNG)

Among Selyem’s inappropriate online posts include an argument he had with someone over the police shooting of a civilian. In it, he wrote, “That s—bag got exactly what he deserved. … You reap what you sow. And by the way go fyourself you liberal s—bag.”

Selyem also targeted outspoken U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, former first lady Michelle Obama, and Mexican immigrants.

Of Waters, Selyem said: “Being a loud-mouthed (expletive) in the ghetto you would think someone would have shot this bitch by now …” He also posted a doctored picture of Michelle Obama holding a sign saying, “Trump grabbed my penis.”

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