For Immediate Release
Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., announces the filing of a lawsuit filed against the City of New York and Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark. Crime Analyst Crystal Rivera alleges she suffered mental anguish, pain, and suffering when Clark and her staff retaliated against her for failing to cooperate with a baseless racially charged criminal investigation against NYPD Detective David Terrell
New York, NY, January 19, 2019 – Ms. Rivera claims, almost 11 years ago, she was appointed to the Office of the Bronx District Attorney.
According to the lawsuit, since her appointment, the Office of the Bronx District Attorney is rife with employees engaging in utter incompetence, serious misconduct and unethical practices directly impacting primarily complainants and defendants’ constitutional rights.
Instead of investigating and prosecuting crimes, Ms. Rivera alleges prosecutors and other employees routinely shop, consume alcohol in the office, engage in sexual activities in the office and other improper activities, according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Rivera claims, its prosecutors routinely “judge shop” meaning bring questionable legal documents such as search warrants to be endorsed by the Court although there is no matter pending before that Court.
Several years ago, Ms. Rivera claims she began a personal relationship with NYPD Detective David Terrell (African-American Male) of the 42nd Precinct.
According to the lawsuit, more than two years ago, Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark (African-American Female) and Chief of the Homicide Bureau Christina Scaccia (Caucasian Female) assigned Assistant District Attorney David Slott (Caucasian Male) to handle the criminal cases against Pedro Hernandez and the rest of The Hill Top Crew.
During the investigation, Ms. Rivera met with Deputy Chief of the Strategic Enforcement/Intergovernmental Relations Division Carmen J. Facciolo III (Caucasian Male). Prior to meeting with Deputy Chief Facciolo III, she received information from another colleague that the private investigator from the Pedro Hernandez case, private investigator Manny Gomez have a personal relationship with an employee Michelle Rayo (Caucasian Female) and has been seen throughout several secure areas of the office.
According to the lawsuit, Ms. Rivera later met with Chief of the Trial Division Jeremy Shockett (Caucasian Male); Deputy Chief Facciolo III; Deputy Chief of the Narcotics/Gang Bureau Terry H. Gensler (Caucasian Female); Bureau Chief Scaccia and Assistant District Attorney Slott. Ms Rivera claims that they were collectively unaware of crucial evidence collected against Pedro Hernandez and the rest of The Hill Top Crew, this is consistent with the incompetent and unethical practices of the office.
Ms. Rivera claims, Bronx District Attorney Clark using her staff decided she would be used to ‘publicly vilify’ NYPD Detective Terrell with allegations of a baseless criminal investigation against him. After rebuffing Bronx District Attorney Clark’s and her staff’s tactics, they began to target her for a baseless criminal investigation.
Deputy Chief Gensler then proceeds to talk about NYPD Detective Terrell, Sergeant Andrew Uruci, and the 42 whole Pct. is going down. According to the lawsuit, Deputy Chief Gensler said, “David Terrell is a fucking crooked cop and that is typical because he’s Black and Sergeant Uruci is a moron for not controlling Terrell.” Ms. Rivera claims, that’s not the first time she has heard Deputy Chief Gensler and other members of Bronx District Attorney Clark’s staff referring to persons of color in a negative light.
Ms. Rivera claims, Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau Wanda Perez-Maldonado (Latina Female) even implied she had a personal relationship with Pedro Hernandez and The Hill Top Crew. After the intense questioning quickly shifted to her personal relationship with NYPD Detective Terrell but, she ignored the questions related her personal life.
In late August, she met with Bureau Chief Perez-Maldonado and Detective Investigator Terrence Mulderrig (Caucasian Male) in her office. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Rivera noticed a notepad with her name written on it along with her cellphone and financial records. Bureau Chief Perez-Maldonado told her, she lied and needs a lawyer.
A few days later, Bureau Chief Perez-Maldonado asked Ms. Rivera if any employees knew about her personal relationship with NYPD Detective Terrell. Shortly thereafter, Deputy Chief Administrative Chief Human Resources/Labor Relations Arthur B. Simmons told Ms. Rivera effective immediately, she is being suspended with pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.
On September 6, 2017, Bronx District Attorney Clark dismissed the case against Pedro Hernandez.
According to the lawsuit, in an elaborate ruse to perpetuate a fraud upon the public to cover up the incompetence, serious misconduct and unethical practices of the Office of the Bronx District Attorney, Clark falsely claimed to have started an investigation into the law enforcement practices of the 42nd Precinct. Bronx District Attorney Clark, falsely published a press release claiming her Public Integrity Bureau “delved into the allegations surrounding the Pedro Hernandez case.”
On January 19, 2018, Bronx District Attorney Clark charged Ms. Rivera with misconduct related to her personal relationship with NYPD Detective Terrell but, did not serve her.
On January 22, 2018, Bronx District Attorney Clark suspended her without pay.
On February 23, 2018, Bronx District Attorney Clark sent two detective investigators to her former mother in law’s home threatening to “pick her up.” Later that day, the same two detective investigators served her with administrative charges related to her personal relationship with NYPD Detective Terrell.
On May 8, 2018, after an Informal Hearing, Hearing Officer Nicole Keary sustained charges related to her personal relationship with NYPD Detective Terrell but, DID NOT rule on the validity of any directive against contact with him. Ms. Rivera claims that Hearing Officer Keary recommended time credited while under suspension without pay, a demotion via reassignment to duties with reduced access to sensitive information.
On June 4, 2018, Ms. Rivera declined the recommendation and informed Bronx District Attorney Clark that “Unfortunately, after review, Ms. Rivera vehemently disagrees with the findings and recommendations; therefore, elects to proceed to Step II. In the meantime, Ms. Rivera expects to be immediately reinstated with all backpay and benefits consistent with Civil Service Law Section 75 and transferred to another unit pending the outcome of this disciplinary matter. Thank you.”
Shortly thereafter, Bronx District Attorney Clark reinstated her with all backpay and benefits consistent with Civil Service Law Section 75, but, never scheduled her for a Step II Hearing.
On July 2, 2018, Bronx District Attorney Clark transferred her to the Crime Victims Assistance Unit, Satellite Office.
Almost immediately, Ms. Rivera claims Mr. Brian Wareham began subjecting her to unwanted physical contact including unsolicited hugs, grabbing her hand, touching her arm and buttocks. On October 1, 2018, she wrote an email to Director, Crime Victims Assistance Unit Beth Ann Holzhay and Supervising Coordinator Priscilla Taveras about Mr. Wareham’s conduct and his constant interference with her work assignments. Ms. Rivera alleges neither filed a complaint on her behalf because of her publicly filed complaints alleging public corruption against the Office of the Bronx District Attorney and her personal relationship with NYPD Detective Terrell.
“The Bronx DA’S Office is retaliating against me for exercising my First Amendment right of freedom of association; for re-buffing the incompetence, serious misconduct and unethical practices of the office and for failing to cooperate with a baseless racially charged criminal investigation against David,” says Ms. Rivera.
“Under DA Clark, ‘let the constitution be damned.’ With the filing of this lawsuit, we intend to hold Bronx District Attorney Clark and her staff legally accountable for their disgraceful conduct, says Eric Sanders.
Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., filed the Verified Complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of the Bronx – Crystal Rivera V. The City of New York, et al., Index No.: 23051/2019E on January 19, 2019.
ABOUT THE SANDERS FIRM, P.C.
The Sanders Firm, P.C. offers those in the New York City area legal services related and connected to civil rights, civil service rights, criminal law and discrimination. We firmly believe in everyone’s individual rights that are described and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. We understand that our freedoms and liberties are sacrosanct and that they have been won in many and various hard-fought battles. We are committed in every way to protecting your civil rights. We are your voice for justice!
Eric Sanders, Esq.
President and Owner, The Sanders Firm, P.C.
Business Phone: 212-652-2782