16Toxic com­mand

‘You be­long to us’ taunt for women en­viro cops – claim

New York Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - BY GRA­HAM RAY­MAN

THREE COPS plan to sue the city for al­leged sex­ual ha­rass­ment by their su­pe­ri­ors at the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion.

The cops, all women, claim Lt. Hec­tor Reyes and Sgt. Aubrey Ze­phyr re­peat­edly asked them for dates or pun­ished them for not co­op­er­at­ing with their ad­vances, ac­cord­ing to a no­tice of claim they re­cently filed with the city.

One of­fi­cer, Dilma Rother­mel, al­leges the two mar­ried men in­ap­pro­pri­ately touched her and made sex­u­ally sug­ges­tive com­ments at the city’s Hil­lview Reser­voir in Westch­ester County. When­ever Reyes asked her out, she claimed, she told him she was mar­ried, the no­tice of claim al­leges.

“From now on, and then every time you are at Hil­lview, we are your hus­bands, you be­long to us, you are from our acad­emy, you are ours now,” Reyes would re­ply, ac­cord­ing to the no­tice of claim.

Reyes (photo in­set) and Ze­phyr al­legedly de­manded hugs from Rother­mel at the end of her shift. Reyes al­legedly of­ten called her into his of­fice to tell her how beau­ti­ful she is. Reyes also, the pa­pers al­lege, would tell her, “You don’t love me.” And he al­legedly called her “su­cia,” a Span­ish word mean­ing “filthy” that can also be read as “whore.”

As a re­sult, Rother­mel says, she be­gan to try to hide from the men while at work and even stopped wear­ing per­fume there be­cause they would comment on that.

“Hey, are you wear­ing Bo­tox to­day, you look dif­fer­ent to­day, I can’t be­lieve how good you look for your age; you must (be) wear­ing Bo­tox,” Reyes would say, ac­cord­ing to the al­le­ga­tions.

Both men al­legedly sug­gested she mar­ried the wrong man.

Start­ing early last year, Rother­mel says, Reyes re­fused to ap­prove her over­time and re­fused to shift her sched­ule, while giv­ing plum as­sign­ments to male cops with less ex­pe­ri­ence.

Yolanda Moore, a sergeant in the unit and a union board mem­ber, sim­i­larly claims she was ha­rassed by Reyes and that she has seen other fe­male cops ha­rassed.

Reyes al­legedly made her salute him, but her male col­leagues didn’t have to, and she claimed he dis­re­garded her se­nior­ity.

After she filed a com­plaint, she says, Reyes ordered her to take her stuff out of her locker in the fe­male chang­ing room and turn the locker over to a man. Moore is now the only sergeant in the precinct with no locker, the no­tice of claim says.

Kristy Tan­gredi, mean­while, claims she wit­nessed in­ci­dents of sex­ual ha­rass­ment against Rother­mel. But when she stood up for the of­fi­cer, Reyes al­legedly stripped her of over­time and treated her dif­fer­ently from the male of­fi­cers.

“This is an ex­am­ple of one of the dark secrets and re­al­i­ties women in law en­force­ment have had to en­dure and con­tinue to en­dure,” the women’s lawyer Ter­rence Dwyer told the Daily News.

He said the DEP has al­lowed sys­temic sex­ual ha­rass­ment and re­tal­i­a­tion at the agency’s 6th Precinct.

Dwyer de­clined to make his clients avail­able for an in­ter­view.

A lawyer for Reyes and Ze­phyr de­clined to comment.

A DEP spokesman said Mon­day the al­le­ga­tions are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. He de­clined to comment Tues­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.