FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, May 1, 2017 – New York Civil Rights Attorney Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., representing NYPD Police Officer Michele Hernandez sues for $35 Mil in a newly filed amended federal lawsuit alleging the Bronx DA is retaliating against her for exposing public corruption
According to the amended federal lawsuit, NYPD Police Officer Michele Hernandez alleges from March 2003 through present while assigned to various NYPD precincts within Bronx County, she and other similarly situated police officers are being forced to follow the ticket and arrest quota systems aka performance goals in violation of their constitutional rights which are implemented to illegally tax constituents, raising revenues, advancing the political agendas of government officials and Department executive management who are rewarded with overtime, compensatory time, promotions and other job benefits for enforcing the ticket and arrest quota systems.
Ms. Hernandez further alleges the ticket and quota systems aka performance goals disparately impact African-American, Hispanics and other persons of color who travel through, work and reside in Bronx County.
Despite the so-called high-profile ‘Ticket-Fixing’ Scandal allegedly investigated by the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau and the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office, the practice of ‘fixing’ tickets still continues to this date, according to the lawsuit. The so-called investigation primarily focused upon police officers, sergeants and lieutenants. They were subjected to arrest, suspensions and terminations. Meanwhile, Ms. Hernandez alleges, executive management (Captains and above) were largely absolved although the ‘fixing’ couldn’t have occurred without their ‘explicit’ approval.
Ms. Hernandez alleges on March 11, 2014, she initiated a legal car stop of New York City Councilwoman Vanessa L. Gibson in Bronx County who she observed talking on her cellular telephone without a hands free device. While stopped, she asked NYC Councilwoman Gibson if the ‘CO’ was on the cellular telephone. NYC Councilwoman Gibson handed her the cellular telephone, former commanding officer Kevin Catalina then begged her, “Please don’t write the summons because she meets with the Mayor and Police Commissioner monthly in her role with the Public Safety Committee.” NYC Councilwoman Gibson was immediately released and the summons wasn’t issued. The next day, Summons No.: AAW9075382 was ‘VOIDED’ by the Training Sergeant. The ‘VOIDED’ summons was endorsed by Catalina and sent through channels. Unbeknownst to them, Ms. Hernandez kept a copy of the summons because she knew it was wrong but, she had nowhere to file her complaint.
Several months later, Ms. Hernandez was transferred to the 49th Precinct and eventually under commanding officer Keith Walton where she was warned by other supervisors and police officers that no one wants to work with her. Prior to her transfer, she was accused of being a ‘rat’ by Lieutenant Wilson, 44th Precinct, according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Hernandez alleges 49th Precinct personnel engages in the same sort of ticket and arrest quota systems along with ‘fixing.’ Under commanding officer Keith Walton, Ms. Hernandez alleges she’s still being subjected to unfair assignments and discipline for ‘passively’ rejecting the ticket and arrest quota systems. Since Ms. Hernandez’s transfer into the 49th Precinct, on numerous occasions her vehicle has been damaged. Ms. Hernandez alleges she and other similarly situated police officers are afraid to report these acts of corruption because other police officers who have complained have been subjected to suspensions, transfers and terminations.
After Ms. Hernandez filed her federal lawsuit several months ago, she now alleges as a favor to her friend NYC Councilwoman Gibson, Chairperson of the Public Safety Committee who have jurisdiction and budget control over the Office of the Bronx District Attorney, Bronx DA Darcel D. Clark opened a criminal inquiry against her through the Public Integrity Bureau. The ‘criminal inquiry’ involves Hernandez’s interactions with NYC Councilwoman Gibson and the surrounding circumstances of the summons VOID.
Ms. Hernandez alleges Bronx DA Clark; Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau Wanda Perez-Maldonado; Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau Omer Wiczyk and Special Assistant District Attorney Katherine J. Hwang knows this ‘criminal inquiry’ is retaliatory, legally and ethically wrong, not in the ‘public interest’ but proceeded anyway.
“This so-called investigation is in retaliation for Police Officer Hernandez expressing her First Amendment right to expose public corruption involving these parties,” says Eric Sanders.
Ms. Hernandez filed her $35 Million Dollar amended federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Docket No.: 16 cv 9226 on April 28, 2017.
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