Two other lawsuits have been filed against NYPD captains for allegedly harassing female employees

Two other lawsuits have been filed against NYPD captains for allegedly harassing female employees

A New York Police Department captain who has already been sued twice for allegedly abusing female officers has filed two new lawsuits. The subject of an NBC News investigation Sexual harassment and gender discrimination in big city law enforcement.

Captain Salvatore Marches is now accused of sexual harassment or gender discrimination in four cases since 2013. A 2013 case involving an officer who alleged he forced her to perform oral sex, documents show, was settled for $100,000. In August 2022, he was booked for allegedly harassing a pregnant officer and forcing her to work overnight shifts.

Two new lawsuits filed Wednesday against Marches and the city allege that Marches reprimanded female underlings — including a lieutenant — for getting pregnant or caring for their children. There was no admission of wrongdoing in the settled case, and Marches has denied wrongdoing in all its responses to the lawsuit.

The NYPD Marches was promoted to captain in 2018 and assigned to run stationhouses in Manhattan and the Bronx, NYPD personnel records show.

“It’s really bizarre how they let this guy go from command to command, treating people like this,” said former Lt. Ebony Huntley, a plaintiff in two new lawsuits. A single mother, who was rare as a black female lieutenant NYPDHe retired early to escape Marchese’s abuse.

“Shame on this department for allowing this to happen,” Huntley said.

Former NYPD Lt. Ebony Huntley filed a lawsuit Wednesday against New York City and Capt. Salvatore Marches. (Courtesy of Ebony Huntley)

A December NBC News investigation found that the NYPD and some of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies are victims of sexual harassment and gender discrimination against female officers. A review of more than 60 cases settled or won at trial since 2017, thousands of pages of internal police documents and interviews with female officers across the ranks found that women who speak up often lose their careers, while many men face little consequence.

Of the 87 NYPD officers accused in court papers of abusing female officers, 27 have since been promoted, according to an NBC News review, including Marches.

Marchese did not respond to requests for comment. The New York City Law Department, which legally represents the city, and Marchis’ union representative for the Captains Endowment Association also did not respond.

In a statement, the NYPD declined to comment on pending litigation, but said, “The department does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and is committed to a respectful work environment for our diverse workforce. The NYPD thoroughly investigates all complaints it receives and offers a variety of reporting options for NYPD employees, including anonymously.”

NYPD Capt. Salvatore Marches is named in four lawsuits.  (NYPD)

NYPD Capt. Salvatore Marches is named in four lawsuits. (NYPD)

“The NYPD has been on notice of Marchese’s bigoted behavior toward women for more than a decade, yet has failed to take corrective action,” said attorney John Scola, who represents Huntley and has a pending lawsuit against Marchese over his alleged conduct.

Before crossing paths with Marchis, Huntley worked for the department for 20 years as a narcotics officer, a detective and a street sergeant.

“I’m not soft,” Huntley said.

Huntley said things changed when Marches became his boss in September 2022.

Officer Anajes Alvarez filed a lawsuit in August alleging that Marchese, then running a different stationhouse in the Bronx, presided over a toxic work environment and refused to remove her from overnight shifts when she was pregnant. That case is currently under investigation.

“You’ve been sued for sex and you’ve got a full board?” Says Anajes Alvarez, age 27. (Natalie Kiser for NBC News)

The department moved Marches to the stationhouse where Huntley worked in Upper Manhattan.

“I was like, ‘Hey, he can’t be that bad,'” Huntley said.

Tensions flared, he said, when he rejected Marchese’s demand that he punish a female officer who complained about Marchese’s alleged abuse while she was pregnant and after her child was born. Huntley said he rejected Marchese’s claim that he refused to close the officer’s hours and moved his assignment.

That officer, Elizabeth Munoz, filed her own gender discrimination lawsuit against Marches and the city of New York this week, the fourth lawsuit against the captain. Like Huntley and Alvarez, he is represented by Scola.

Huntley said that once he protected Munoz, the retaliation began. He said Marchese would trick him, publicly humiliating him in front of other police.

“It’s more than just a hostile environment. It’s sick. It has negatively affected the lives of every person in this command,” said a male officer working at the stationhouse. The officer, who NBC News is not naming because he is not authorized to speak publicly, added that the NYPD’s current police commissioner, the first woman to lead the department, “should have zero tolerance for discrimination against any woman in this job.”

The situation got so bad, Huntley alleged in his complaint that five of his sergeants complained about Marchese’s behavior to internal affairs.

Huntley said he had been under Marchese’s watch for less than four months. She said she had no choice but to retire in early January after he pulled her from the midnight shift. She said he ignored her pleas that she had to take care of a young son and a father with cancer.

“I’m a woman, I’m black, I’m a single parent. It’s been tough all the way through,” Huntley said. “I did not deserve to be treated the way this man treated me.”

This article was originally published

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