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When a top aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio was allowed to quietly resign last year over sexual harassment charges, the city decided to keep the reason for his departure secret. Officials said that they wanted to protect his accusers, but the secrecy had another effect: It helped shield the aide from scrutiny as he sought a new job.
The aide, Kevin O’Brien, was the highest-ranking city official known to have been ousted over sexual harassment charges in the #MeToo era, but the circumstances of his departure are not unique.
In at least three other cases in which employees were pushed out because of substantiated sexual harassment allegations in recent years, the city agreed to conceal the behavior from future employers who might inquire as part of a reference check.
In the three cases, all at the Department of Parks and Recreation, investigators determined that the employees had sexually harassed co-workers, and officials moved to have them fired.
The men challenged their dismissals but ultimately agreed to resign after securing assurances that the city would provide a “neutral reference” to prospective employers seeking information. If asked, city officials would verify only basic details, such as employment dates, job title and description.
Richard Washington, a lawyer who specializes in city labor cases and represented all three parks employees, said that neutral reference agreements are “something that most attorneys in this field would be requesting,” adding that they were relatively common in cases where employees agree to resign after accusations of misbehavior.
Olivia Lapeyrolerie, a City Hall spokeswoman, acknowledged that beyond the three parks department cases, the city had likely made other neutral reference guarantees with other employees, but said that the city had no comprehensive way to track such cases.
“While this information is only currently tracked at an agency level, we will be asking agencies to submit their dismissal stipulations to D.C.A.S. moving forward,” Ms. Lapeyrolerie said, referring to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.
She said that, following inquiries from The New York Times about these cases, the city had decided to hire an outside law firm to review the way it handles requests for references about current or former employees and would seek “to establish more uniform protocols that promote transparency and accountability.”
Ms. Lapeyrolerie said that under current policy, neutral referrals were given only “in rare instances when they believe any other route could compromise the confidentiality of the complainant.”
That did not seem to be borne out, however, in at least two of the parks department cases. In those cases, the harassment victims had filed legal papers, either a lawsuit or a notice of claim, which effectively made their cases public and no longer confidential, well before the city negotiated with the men over the terms of their resignation.
In one of those cases, in 2016, investigators determined that Jeffrey Blount, a parks supervisor, had threatened to fire Makeda Stevenson, a park cleaner, for arriving late to work unless she agreed to have sex with him.
Two separate investigations, by the parks department’s Equal Employment Opportunity office and the Department of Investigation, found that Mr. Blount pressured Ms. Stevenson, a seasonal worker in a welfare-to-work program, into at least three sexual encounters.
Ms. Stevenson, a single mother in the program that places low-income New Yorkers in temporary jobs, said she was afraid he would retaliate if she resisted.
“I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my job because I do have to take care of my son, too,” she said.
Even after she was transferred to a different location, at Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn, Mr. Blount tracked her down and cornered her in a park building, where he performed oral sex on her, according to the investigations. Ms. Stevenson used her cellphone to make an audio recording of part of the encounter.
After Ms. Stevenson’s accusations were substantiated, the parks department moved to fire Mr. Blount; he fought back, and took the case to the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, where he could have forced a trial.
The city entered into a negotiation and Mr. Blount agreed to resign after securing the stipulation that the city would provide a neutral referral to any potential employer — essentially agreeing to conceal Mr. Blount’s history of repeated harassment allegations.
“The determination was made that it was the most prudent course to end Mr. Blount’s employment as soon as possible,” the parks department general counsel, Alessandro Olivieri, said. “I would not describe a neutral evaluation as hiding anything.”
Ms. Stevenson was stunned when she was told about the arrangement during an interview with The Times. “People should know what type of person he is because he’s going to continue to do it,” she said.
It was not even the first accusation against Mr. Blount.
Two years earlier, in 2014, parks department investigators substantiated a claim that Mr. Blount had grabbed and tried to kiss a woman who worked under his supervision as a parks cleaner in Queens. But a department manager later found Mr. Blount not guilty at an internal hearing and he was not disciplined.
Investigators were also told in 2014 of a separate allegation that Mr. Blount had had improper involvement with yet another subordinate. But that investigation was closed when the woman denied the relationship. Attempts to reach Mr. Blount were unsuccessful.
A lawyer for Ms. Stevenson, Robert P. Valletti, filed a lawsuit against the city and Mr. Blount in February 2017, in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. Six months later, the parks department granted Mr. Blount the neutral reference guarantee in exchange for his resignation.
Ms. Lapeyrolerie said that neutral reference agreements were given to two other men with substantiated sex harassment claims against them. One was a parks supervisor who resigned in 2017, and the other was a park worker named Vincent Lloyde, who resigned in 2015.
In Mr. Lloyde’s case, a welfare-to-work employee, Taalibah Thiam, filed a notice of claim with the city in September 2015, alleging harassment; a month later, the city agreed on the terms of Mr. Lloyde’s resignation. The following year, Ms. Thiam filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleging that Mr. Lloyde had groped her and threatened to rape and kill her. The court papers said that she told a supervisor and that he did nothing to protect her or stop the behavior.
The city paid Ms. Thiam a 0,000 settlement to end the lawsuit.
Neither Mr. Blount nor Mr. Lloyde could be reached for comment. Mr. Washington, the lawyer, said he could not comment on the particulars of any of the three cases.
The parks department has seen a spate of complaints over sexual harassment, much of it targeting women employed as park cleaners in a welfare-to-work program known as the Parks Opportunity Program. The problems prompted an inquiry in 2017 by the city’s Department of Investigation.
A July 2017 letter from the investigation commissioner, Mark G. Peters, to the parks commissioner, Mitchell J. Silver, identified “a number of systemic vulnerabilities.” Neither the letter nor the investigation has been previously reported.
In response to that investigation, parks officials agreed to make improvements, including to seek more severe penalties in sexual harassment cases and to create “a watch list of employees with histories of sexual harassment allegations.” The letter did not address the practice of guaranteeing neutral references to harassers who resign.
The case involving Mr. O’Brien was different in some key ways from the parks department cases. Mr. O’Brien was a management-level employee who could be fired at will and could not challenge his firing in the city’s administrative trial system.
Mr. O’Brien, who served as the mayor’s acting chief of staff in 2017 and later as a senior adviser, also did not have a written dismissal agreement, according to City Hall officials, and was not guaranteed a neutral reference in the same way as the parks workers. The city said that it would tell prospective employers only that Mr. O’Brien had resigned in lieu of termination, which Mr. de Blasio said would have been a red flag to prospective employers who inquired.
Mr. O’Brien remained on the city payroll for an additional five weeks after he agreed to resign. This period allowed him to say that he was still working for the mayor as he negotiated a new job with Hilltop Public Strategies, a political consulting firm founded by Nick Baldick, a top campaign adviser to Mr. de Blasio who had first recommended Mr. O’Brien for the City Hall job.B:
大道至简高手论坛“【那】【应】【该】【是】【剑】【罡】！”【归】【海】【一】【刀】【长】【刀】【入】【鞘】，【目】【光】【带】【着】【疑】【虑】【看】【向】【那】【白】【发】【青】【年】。 【这】【剑】【法】，【简】【单】【明】【了】，【似】【曾】【相】【识】【啊】。 【余】【沧】【海】【挺】【身】【向】【前】【一】【迈】，【准】【先】【天】【的】【修】【为】【加】【上】【一】【身】【深】【厚】【的】【内】【力】，【倒】【是】【勉】【强】【独】【自】【抗】【住】【了】【陈】【浩】【的】【压】【迫】。 【接】【下】【来】【就】【是】【丢】【石】【头】【了】【吧】。 【呸】……【那】【是】【弹】【指】【神】【通】，【跟】【机】【关】【枪】【似】【的】。 【对】【着】【余】【沧】【海】【开】【始】【不】【断】【的】【点】
【一】【个】【时】【辰】，【说】【长】【不】【长】，【说】【短】【不】【短】。 【看】【着】【刘】【表】【军】【如】【潮】【水】【一】【般】【再】【次】【涌】【来】，【曹】【仁】【知】【道】，【这】【次】【恐】【怕】【是】【真】【的】【守】【不】【住】【了】。 【广】【陵】【城】【已】【是】【生】【死】【一】【线】，【幽】【州】【曹】【操】【与】【袁】【绍】【也】【到】【了】【决】【战】【时】【刻】。 【与】【广】【陵】【城】【的】【狂】【风】【暴】【雨】【不】【同】，【自】【曹】【操】【引】【兵】【北】【上】【以】【来】，【曹】【袁】【之】【间】【并】【没】【有】【爆】【发】【大】【规】【模】【的】【决】【战】。 【见】【状】，【一】【开】【始】【袁】【绍】【并】【不】【着】【急】，【甚】【至】【还】【兵】【分】【两】
【陆】【轻】【鸿】【想】【了】【想】，【连】【忙】【去】【寝】【殿】【里】，【阿】【璃】【还】【在】【那】【里】，【他】【绝】【对】【不】【能】【让】【人】【伤】【了】【她】。 “【阿】【璃】，【不】【要】！”【结】【果】【他】【来】【到】【这】【里】【以】【后】，【熊】【熊】【烈】【火】【已】【经】【快】【江】【这】【个】【胸】【围】【的】【大】【殿】【烧】【透】【了】！ “【阿】【璃】，【不】【为】【什】【么】！【为】【什】【么】【你】【们】【要】【放】【火】【烧】【阿】【璃】！”【陆】【轻】【鸿】【疯】【了】【一】【般】【冲】【进】【大】【殿】【里】。 【里】【面】【的】【火】【势】【太】【大】【了】，【他】【已】【经】【不】【能】【看】【到】【东】【西】【了】，【火】【讲】【他】【的】【衣】【服】【烧】
【刘】【争】【躺】【在】【草】【丛】【里】【等】【了】【半】【天】【都】【没】【有】【等】【到】【撤】【回】【县】【城】【的】【袭】【击】【队】。【不】【由】【得】【有】【些】【纳】【闷】。【听】【那】【狗】【汉】【奸】【说】【的】【牛】【逼】【哄】【哄】，【袭】【击】【队】【要】【拖】【住】【章】【庄】【里】【面】【的】【八】【路】【军】。 【刘】【争】【不】【相】【信】【这】【群】【混】【蛋】【能】【够】【这】【样】【厉】【害】，【所】【以】【在】【这】【里】【一】【直】【等】【着】【被】【击】【退】【的】【夜】【袭】【队】【回】【去】【搬】【救】【兵】。 【可】【等】【了】【这】【么】【久】【一】【直】【没】【有】【人】【影】。【那】【么】【唯】【一】【的】【结】【果】【就】【是】，【这】【袭】【击】【队】【被】【留】【守】【在】【章】【庄】【的】【部】大道至简高手论坛“【没】【事】，【惊】【哥】【就】【这】【脾】【气】，【别】【在】【意】，【一】【会】【儿】【就】【好】【了】。” 【知】【道】【卫】【勋】【是】【好】【意】，【叶】【明】【轩】【拍】【拍】【他】【的】【肩】【膀】【冲】【着】【吴】【惊】【喊】【到】：“【惊】【哥】，【杵】【在】【那】【儿】【干】【啥】？【把】【你】【的】【水】【贡】【献】【出】【来】【吧】？” “【干】【嘛】？” “【煮】【蛤】【蜊】，【你】【说】【干】【嘛】？【不】【吃】【饭】【了】？” “【得】【得】【得】，【您】【都】【不】【生】【气】，【我】【生】【什】【么】【气】，【狗】【拿】【耗】【子】【多】【管】【闲】【事】【儿】。” 【把】【叶】【明】【轩】【和】【自】【己】【包】【里】
【林】【蓉】【有】【些】【愣】【住】【了】，【儿】【子】【在】【她】【印】【象】【里】【虽】【然】【话】【不】【多】，【有】【主】【意】【倔】【强】，【但】【是】【还】【不】【曾】【这】【样】【冷】【淡】【的】【和】【自】【己】【说】【过】【话】。 “【你】【这】【是】【决】【定】【为】【了】【女】【朋】【友】【和】【妈】【妈】【吵】【架】【了】？【我】【作】【为】【你】【的】【母】【亲】，【难】【道】【还】【不】【能】【在】【未】【来】【的】【儿】【媳】【人】【选】【的】【事】【情】【上】【发】【表】【意】【见】【吗】？” “【妈】【妈】，【我】【一】【直】【很】【尊】【重】【你】，【也】【没】【有】【提】【过】【什】【么】【过】【分】【的】【要】【求】。”【说】【到】【这】【里】【时】【与】【之】【短】【暂】【的】【暂】【停】【了】
【康】【熙】【册】【封】【世】【子】【的】【诏】【书】【第】【二】【天】【就】【送】【进】【了】【廉】【亲】【王】【府】【里】【供】【奉】，【直】【到】【宣】【召】【的】【那】【刻】【起】，【郭】【络】【罗】【氏】【才】【明】【白】【她】【不】【在】【王】【府】【的】【这】【几】【天】【发】【生】【了】【什】【么】……【她】【知】【道】【这】【事】【儿】【迟】【早】【有】【一】【天】【要】【来】，【只】【是】【这】【比】【她】【预】【料】【的】【时】【间】【要】【早】【一】【些】，【早】【那】【么】【一】【点】【点】。 【在】【内】【务】【府】【来】【宣】【旨】【的】【大】【太】【监】【面】【前】【又】【不】【敢】【方】【面】【发】【作】【出】【来】，【老】【老】【实】【实】【的】【和】【胤】【禩】【一】【同】【跪】【接】【了】【圣】【旨】。 【一】【切】