Local Elections

DA candidate Phillips called sexist, racist email 'work appropriate … appropriate anywhere'

Here is the racist, sexist email exchange between DA candidate and his uncle

Noah Phillips is running for Sacramento County district attorney. He received this email from his uncle and then responded. The email contains content that is racist and sexist.
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Noah Phillips is running for Sacramento County district attorney. He received this email from his uncle and then responded. The email contains content that is racist and sexist.

John Phillips wasn't sure if the email detailing what men can expect sexually by the third date with women of various ethnic groups was appropriate fodder to send to his nephew's workplace email.

Noah Phillips, according to his emailed response, assured him it was "work appropriate and for that matter appropriate anywhere."

The emails, dated Feb. 17, 2016, were provided to The Bee and show an exchange between Phillips, 46, who is running for Sacramento County District Attorney and the man he would describe only as "his 70 year old uncle" before declining to confirm or deny the validity of the emails.

Instead, he accused backers of his opponent, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, of "hacking" his county email account.

"Instead of debating the issues, my opponent is spending public resources building fences and combing through years of my old emails to try to find something she can use to embarrass me. In doing so, the current DA, my former boss, has inadvertently shed more light on why I decided to run in the first place."

Phillips also appeared to apologize Tuesday, saying he was part of a "callous and crude" culture of local law enforcement encouraged by Schubert. In the statement, Phillips said he was "sorry to say I was a part of it until I realized the impact this culture has on our justice system as a whole."

Phillips email page tear
Noah Phillips replied to his uncle John Phillips that an email containing racist and sexist jokes about women was “work appropriate.”

The email was provided anonymously to The Bee, but a senior-level prosecutor in the DA's office confirmed that it was culled as part of an investigation into emails related to misconduct allegedly committed by Phillips at trial in a 2016 murder case. Phillips has repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing.

"We pulled these emails to provide discovery to defense lawyers in an ongoing misconduct case," Steve Grippi, assistant chief deputy district attorney, said. "This email exchange was in the account. It's that simple."

The offending email was sent in February 2016. That was six months before the August 2016 murder that led to the trial where Phillips' misconduct allegedly took place and before the series of emails in late December 2017 and early January 2018 that defense attorneys argued were proof of his misconduct at that trial.

The man identified as John Phillips sent the candidate the email titled "Female Nationality Traits," under the subject heading "commentary."

"I don’t know if this is appropriate to send to your workplace but I know of no other," John Phillips wrote.

In it, photo stills of women captioned "Anglo," "Irish," "Chinese," "Mexican," "Jewish" and "Arab" are displayed with accompanying captions. The "Mexican" woman is wearing a sombrero and the description in part describes a first date as "getting drunk on Tequila" and having sex in the back of her car. By the second date, "she is pregnant," it reads.

Under the heading "Irish women," the same scenario plays out for every date: "You both get blind drunk and have sex."

It also lists the fate of a man on a second date with an "Arab" woman: "You are shot dead on the street and your (expletive) are feed to the goats. No third date!"

The email concludes "The point? Don't you just love the Irish?"

Noah Phillips responded: "This is work appropriate and for that matter appropriate anywhere! Ah the luck of the Irish!!"

Phillips on Monday called the email release part of a dirty tricks campaign.

"It's as low as politics goes," Phillips said. "That’s where we’re at….It appears that somebody has hacked into my email account."

He accused people affiliated with Schubert of "using public resources to hack into my account."

"This from a person in a position of power and that’s what this race is all about. How low will she go?" Phillips said.

In the prosecutorial misconduct case, a tech staffer in the DA’s office pulled emails from Phillips’ email server from late 2017 and early 2018 including messages that appeared to show Phillips told defense attorneys he planned to drop special circumstance allegations against murder defendant Tiwan Greenwade.

Defense attorneys say Greenwade was part of a "secret deal" with Phillips to trade perjured testimony for a manslaughter sentence.

The emails became part of an unusual District Attorney’s motion to block Phillips from delaying a hearing for a new trial in the case.

Phillips is on leave from the DA's office during the campaign, but had remained on the murder case before the misconduct allegations surfaced. Dawn Bladet, a supervising deputy district attorney, has since taken over the case.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge heard arguments at a May 11 hearing before setting a second hearing for June 8.

Then, as now, Phillips called the move politically motivated and designed to derail his bid to become the county’s chief prosecutor.

DA's spokeswoman Shelly Orio cited the office's policy regarding network and computer use: "(T)he use of such networks subject the user to monitoring, examination, and audits at any time. By using the systems, employees directly consent to such monitoring and disclosure of use."

Grippi declined to comment about Phillips directly except to cite an old quote from the late Evelle J. Younger, who was state Attorney General for most of the 1970s.

'Younger said, 'If you have integrity, nothing else matters. And if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters,'" Grippi said. "That’s what I would say about this situation."

District Attorney candidate Noah Phillips speaks at the League of Women Voters candidates forum in Sacramento.

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