Senator Bradford Weighs-in on Firing of Judge Clopton and Diversity in the Public Utilities Commission

November 02, 2017

SACRAMENTO ­– Today, Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) provided comments in response to the article published by the Sacramento Bee, regarding claims of vitriolic arguments over diversity and bias preceding the termination of prominent African American, State Administrative Law Judge Karen Clopton of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). 

“Far too often, in the professional workplace, African-American women are mischaracterized as insubordinate or threatening when they are forceful at uncovering truths and simply doing their job,” said Senator Bradford.  “The termination of administrative Judge Karen Clopton is another clear example of the deplorable mistreatment of African American women in the workplace.” 

Back in August, five CPUC commissioners approved Judge Clopton’s dismissal serving as an Administrative Law Judge, citing a 26-page report detailing her management style and hostile communication amongst her peers.  She is appealing the decision on the basis of racially discriminatory conduct and statements.  

“Firing Judge Clopton is two-fold – she was faced with years of constant harassment in a work environment that lacks diversity, and she struck fear in commissioners afraid of the evidence she may or may not have provided to federal and state investigators.  This is unacceptable behavior by the CPUC cannot be overlooked,” continued Bradford.  “As Vice Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and former Chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, I will be calling for an audit of the CPUC’s diversity and employment practices.”

The CPUC hosted their 15th Annual Supplier Diversity En Banc on October 5th in Southern California, which Senator Bradford was a featured speaker. While the event focused on inclusivity and showcased the progress with supplier diversity amongst the investor owned utilities, the Senator noted that within the state department itself, they are still woefully lacking in diversity.   


Senator Bradford represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.