MESA, AZ ( 3TV/CBS 5) - A Mesa city attorney is under investigation and off the job, accused of publicly calling a female co-worker a vulgar four-letter word.

Now the office has taken action against him, but multiple sources said that didn't come soon enough.

It's one of the worst words you could call a woman, and in this case, sources said it was all because the prosecutor wouldn't wear a mask.

Mesa prosecutor misconduct

Stephen Bridger is accused of calling a female co-worker the C-word after she told him to wear a mask.

They call the behavior disrespectful and despicable.

Stephen Bridger, who is also part of the Arizona Prosecuting Attorney's Advisory Council, is now at home on forced leave from work.

It stems from a mock trial the City of Mesa held in late January to train police officers on trial testimony.

"The people that were present in the room were members of the prosecutor's office as well as police officers," said one source.

Two sources close to the situation, who asked to stay anonymous, said Bridger was playing the role of the prosecutor in the trial.

"During the course of that, Stephen Bridger refused to wear his mask," the source said.

That's when a second source said a female attorney called him out.

"The woman involved during the feedback portion suggested Bridger should wear his mask because he was the only one who was not," our second source said. "At that point, he turned to another person and referred to the other prosecutor as a c**t. She responded saying, 'I can hear you."

Mesa prosecutor misconduct

"This isn't this prosecutor's first brush with complaints," a source said.

"This is really a question about public trust. The people in Mesa, when they come in and are expecting to get justice or come into that courtroom, they need to know the people in that office are going to care for that public trust," our other source said.

The City of Mesa took action this week.

In a statement to Arizona's Family, a spokesperson said:

"The City takes allegations of this nature seriously. Stephen Bridger, an employee of the Mesa City Prosecutor's Office, is under investigation for violation of the City's Personnel Rules and Policies. He is currently on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. The City cannot provide any further comment or information at this time."

Our source said while it's a start, they believe the issue was swept under the rug, and want to see far more done.

"This isn't this prosecutor's first brush with complaints. I think that office knew he was trouble and I think they didn't act on it, and there is a concern that maybe they didn't act until they knew people were looking at it and that's a big concern to me," the source said

Arizona's Family tried to ask Bridger about the incident on Wednesday, face to face, to get his side of the story too, but he said nothing and closed the door.

 

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