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In May of this year, a BPCA employee, Kirk Swanson, who oversaw the contracts and RFP process, was fired for allegedly not agreeing to “split a bid” into two smaller amounts, in order to allow the BPCA to call it “discretionary” and award the contract to a crony. He filed an official complaint with the New York State Department of Civil Rights.
In his complaint, he detailed other wrongdoing, including sexual harassment. The report stated, “A female paralegal, who is the subject of a recent report filed with Anne Hohenstein of the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations….
…was subjected to an overly-aggressive, personal, and humiliating interrogation regarding her office dress by Brenda McIntyre, the current Vice President of Human Relations….
…My subordinate approached the then-acting President, Robert Serpico, to apprise him of Ms. McIntyre’s conduct and to seek his help and advice and to formally complain about her treatment. Mr. Serpico’s response, I was told, was to downplay the event and to further humiliate her through a sexually inappropriate gesture that made an issue of her body shape and apparent attractiveness.
I have no reason to doubt my subordinate’s side of the story – I personally have heard Mr. Serpico say provocative and inappropriate comments in front of female staff and watched him on two occasions bring up uncomfortable references to “twerking” in senior staff meetings (both incidents occurring in March of this year, as staff lawyers were involved).
I found it particularly disturbing that our new President, the acting General Counsel (Seema Singh), and Ms. McIntyre laughed at the twerking references, apparently oblivious to the recklessness of this conduct in light of the pending report to Ms. Hohenstein.”.
The paralegal’s name is Elizabeth (Elsa) Papanicolaou. BatteryPark.TV has learned that she recently “quit” her job, according to a source close to the BPCA. After her complaints about sexual harassment, she was reportedly isolated from the rest of the staff and given little work to do. The sourced stated, “They made her life hell.”. Brenda McIintyre, the head of HR at the BPCA, was singled out as the worst offender.
Of the key BPCA employees who made complaints to the state, as detailed by the Swanson report, all of them have now been either fired or pushed out. The two in-house lawyers investigating the harassment charges, Nancy Harvey and Allyson Ford, were either fired or forced into “retirement”. Kirk Swanson was also fired, as previously mentioned.
(Correction: In our previous version, we incorrectly listed Phylis Taylor instead of Allyson Ford)