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November 16, 2011
Our previous exclusive report on the mass firings at the BPCA quoted an anonymous official as referring to the CEO of the BPCA, Gayle Horwitz, as “A bit psycho”. Now, a local source is reporting more details on the day that the 19 staff were fired. One of the employees fired said, “(it was) was like the Angel of Death”
Horwitz was BPCA Chairman Bill Thomspon’s second in command when he was comptroller of New York City.
The DowntownExpress article went on to explain ““The president [Gayle Horwitz] came in and said there would be a mass termination,” according to one staff member. “She instructed everyone to go back to their cubicles. She said that if you got an envelope, you had until 12 noon to leave the premises.”
“There were four, huge, scary security people there,” another employee said. “The entire staff was traumatized — even the people who didn’t get fired. Everybody was very shaken because nobody knew what this was about, but clearly something horrible was happening.”
A woman from human resources was delegated to walk around the office handing out envelopes with a letter of termination. “She was like the Angel of Death,” said one staff member who was let go. “She walked by some people and stopped at others, handing them an envelope. It was all public. Everyone knew. People were screaming and crying.”
“When I received my envelope, I broke down. I was hysterical,” said another staff member. “I had never been fired. I live check to check. I’m the sole provider in my house. I take care of my mother. She just had surgery. She has to have more surgery in January.”
Nineteen people were fired that day — amounting to about one third of the Battery Park City Authority’s staff. Those who were let go had worked for the Authority anywhere from four to 28 years. Most had been with the Authority for more than 10 years. Two were within a few months of being vested in the pension plan.”