|Exterior of Jonathan Williams Plaza Community Center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the|
suspect had worked.
|Nicholas Rodriguez, 64, a former director of an after-school program run by the New York City |
Housing Authority, was arrested in 2011 and charged with molesting two girls.
this is a bad way to spend public money.
NYCHA administrators threatened whistleblower who told of alleged sexual abuse of children: suit
The whistleblower brought complaints against NYCHA after-school program official Nicholas Rodriguez years before he was arrested for allegedly molesting two girls in a NYCHA program; the whistleblower says she was told to keep quietComments (2)
By John Marzulli / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, December 26, 2013, 4:34 PMCITY HOUSING AUTHORITY administrators threatened retaliation against a whistleblower and failed to notify police after being told that the director of one of its Brooklyn after-school programs was touching children inappropriately, a new lawsuit charges.
Administrators fielded complaints against Nicholas Rodriguez made by a fellow NYCHA worker who said she witnessed him engage in inappropriate conduct with children between 1998 and 2000 — well before Rodriguez was arrested in 2011 for allegedly molesting two young girls during an after-school program, according to the suit.
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The suit, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court recently by the mothers of two alleged victims, contends that the employee who reported witnessing perverse behavior on Rodriguez’s part was told by superiors to keep quiet or risk losing her job. The whistleblower, Hope McGuire, told a private investigator, according to a transcript attached to the suit, that she was instructed she had to get “one of the kids to say that this was happening — other than that, I could lose my job for making false accusations.”
“I witnessed it but my word wasn’t good enough,” she said.
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The suit, which seeks $15 million in damages, also charges that NYCHA administrators who were aware of McGuire’s complaint against Rodriguez never reported the allegations to the police or to the agency’s inspector general.
McGuire worked with Rodriguez at the Jonathan Williams Plaza Community Center — a NYCHA-run facility in Williamsburg — from 1998 to 2000. She says she once caught Rodriguez inside a closet with a young girl; saw him whispering in the ear of a 6-year-old girl who was sitting on his lap; and spotted him kneeling in front of and touching the leg of a girl who was seated and had her legs spread open, the suit states.
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A NYCHA representative said the agency “declines comment on pending litigation.”
Dale Frederick, a lawyer for Rodriguez, said: “He denies the allegations, and we look forward to a trial before a jury.”
A mother of one of the alleged victims told the Daily News last year that she became suspicious of Rodriguez after her daughter suddenly asked in 2009 to enroll in a different after-school program. The girl had told her mother that Rodrigueztouched her private parts, leading the mother to contact police, leading eventually to his arrest.