3 women sue Atlantic County prosecutor claiming sex bias, retaliation

Three women who used to work in managerial positions with the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office have filed a discrimination lawsuit.

They claim Prosecutor Damon Tyner discriminated against them on the basis of gender, engaged in mortgage fraud, and protected a friend's brother who smuggled marijuana into the county jail.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, alleges that Tyner and others in the office created a "toxic" workplace for women, including demoting, firing or forcing out two of the three female plaintiffs.

Diane Ruberton, Donna Fetzer and Heather McManus brought the lawsuit after they said they unsuccessfully tried to address concerns about what they considered the unequal treatment women received in the prosecutor's office.

"It is apparent that the plaintiffs are living in an alternative universe," Tyner said in a statement. "The very same conduct they accuse me and the members of my administration of committing was actually carried out by them and others during their brief, ineffective period of leadership of the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office."

Tyner adds that he is "disappointed" that this case is diverting attention away from the work performed by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.

The lawsuit alleges that retaliation was used against anyone that questioned the workplace culture and "other questionable conduct."