The Real Deal New York

Public housing officials threatened woman who reported child sexual abuse: suit

December 27, 2013 08:23AM

The Jonathan Williams Plaza Community Center in Williamsburg at 325 Roebling Street

The Jonathan Williams Plaza Community Center in Williamsburg at 325 Roebling Street

New York City Housing Authority administrators threatened a whistleblower who reported the sexual abuse of children at one of NYCHA’s after-school programs in Brooklyn, according to a new lawsuit.

NYCHA officials also failed to notify police of the alleged abuse, according to mothers of two of the alleged victims, who filed a federal suit in Brooklyn.

Hope McGuire told NYCHA officials that, on several occasions, she had witnessed her colleague Nicholas Rodriguez engage in inappropriate contact with children at the NYCHA-run Jonathan Williams Plaza Community Center in Williamsburg, according to the suit. Superiors allegedly countered by telling her to stay mum or risk losing her job for making false accusations.

The plaintiffs are seeking $15 million in damages, the New York Daily News reported. Among the defendants named are NYCHA, Rodriguez, tenant president Beverly Russell and NYCHA borough administrators Mary Stark and Olga Gomez, according to the newspaper.

A NYCHA representative told the Daily News that it “declines comment on pending litigation.” [NYDN]Hiten Samtani

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