Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

DMV investigating alleged harassment of SF transgender woman

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is investigating a report that an employee sent a transgender San Francisco woman a letter calling her “an abomination,” a DMV spokesman said today (Thursday, October 28).

“The department takes allegations like this very seriously, and we are investigating it to the fullest extent,” said Mike Marando. The department’s internal affairs division, which investigates personal misconduct or illegal use of DMV equipment by employees, is handling the case, he said.

“Hopefully we’ll know something within the next week or so,” said Marando.

Asked whether the person is still working for the DMV, he would only say, “Right now we have an open investigation on the employee.”

The Transgender Law Center said in a statement Wednesday that Amber Yust received a letter from the worker calling her “an abomination” and telling her that she’s going to hell.

According to the center, Yust had gone to the DMV last week with her court-ordered name change and DMV paperwork with her, and had obtained a new driver’s license in her new name.

But Monday she received a letter at home from the employee who’d processed her name change. The DMV worker quoted from the Bible and stated that Yust had made a “very evil decision” and that homosexuals should be put to death, the center stated.

The group didn’t make Yust available for an interview, but in the TLC statement, she said she was “shocked.”

“I would never have expected that a DMV employee could use information from my name change application to reach out and personally attack me,” stated Yust. “This has been a traumatic experience for me and I want to ensure that nothing like this happens to anyone else.”

The DMV’s Marando said, “The investigation is under way, and we have policies and procedures in place which we aggressively follow.” He confirmed the allegation involved an employee in the department’s Fell Street office in San Francisco.

Marando said sensitivity training is included in employees’ overall policies. He indicated he didn’t know whether transgender issues were included in that training, but he said, “the department doesn’t condone or tolerate the access or use of personal information for non-work related purposes.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 28, 2010 @ 1:16 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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