Thursday, December 25, 2014

Scenes From Roosevelt Island Cabrini Church Children's Christmas Show Last Night, Merry Christmas - Also, A Song From Great Big Sea, Come And I Will Sing You (The Twelve Apostles)

Frank Farance shares these photos from Roosevelt Island's Church of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini Children's Christmas show last night at the Good Shepherd Community Center.

Images From Frank Farance

Here's a traditional Christmas song from another Island community, Newfoundland Canada, sung by Great Big Sea. The song is Come and I Will Sing You (The Twelve Apostles)

That looks like a great snowy White Christmas.

Merry Christmas.


CheshireKitty said...

They were all honchos in Westchester County gov in the prior decade. The top leadership was Spano, Schwartz, and Indelicato.

This article traces the career of Schwartz since Westchester (Spano): He worked for Paterson and then became the top aide to Cuomo in 7/11.

He has a reputation for toughness, intensity, getting things done.

I don't see Schwartz as necessarily representing a "baleful" influence on any aspect on what is happening at RIOC. All these figures know each other, if not actually having worked with each other previously - Schwartz, Indelicato, Cuomo. I don't think RIOC's decision with respect to the employee who complained about racial discrimination had anything to do with Albany - RIOC must have made the decision to place the employee on administrative leave on its own.

The only thing that can be said is that Deems alleged a hostile work atmosphere of gender discrimination was in effect at the office under Indelicato's supervision, and now an employee of RIOC is complaining of racial discrimination at an organization under Indelicato's supervision. Racial and gender discrimination are wrong - employees should not have to work in a hostile work atmosphere because of discrimination. In this case - of the RIOC employee complaining about racial discrimination on the job - I would not tie the issue to Schwartz, even if he was instrumental in recommending Indelicato for the RIOC President position to Cuomo (which is speculation but a possibility).

Bella Nicey said...

Employees should not have to work in such an environment due to their race or gender and especially not in a hostile environment. It seems Indelicato has a pattern of discrimination. Hopefully this employee will have an opportunity to meet with someone from RIOC we can only hope it's not with Indelicato. A couple of weeks ago on the site it said RIOC was looking for an HR Manager is this still the case? He's certainly not tied to this matter though we can thank him for making her president, perhaps he thought she would change her cruel ways and decided to tuck her on the island.

CheshireKitty said...

Here's a more complete write-up on Schwartz - from August of this year

As you can see Schwartz was deputy Westchester County executive, 1998-2009, during the years Indelicato was there 2001-2009(?). She may have left the post at Westchester County under controversial circumstances - maybe connected to the Deems case.


She did get the New Rochelle appointment which started in 2012 and ended when she was appointed to the RIOC Presidency in May 2013.

In 2013 - after Indelicato had left the position of Mount Vernon Urban Renewal Agency Director - although she was supposedly appointed to the New Rochelle position in 2012 - there was an article about an audit report from her Mt. Vernon agency that was never submitted

It is not clear to me at least if the New Rochelle position never materialized and instead she accepted an appointment @ Mt. Vernon in 2012, which ended when she accepted the RIOC President appointment in 2013.

Exactly what happened in Westchester is not easy to find out - the atmosphere in the office certainly sounds like it was horrendous according to Deems' testimony/deposition/affidavit/filing/lawsuit. If there was intense gender discrimination in effect, so as to hound the male employees into quitting, this is unacceptable. Gender discrimination is terrible, like racial, ethnic, religious, age-related discrimination. Employees are harassed - made to feel like outsiders, because they are not seen by the boss as part of an "in-group." Yes, discrimination can take many forms. Whatever form it takes, it should be protested.

Bella Nicey said...

Controversial circumstances seems to follow Indelicato. If employees are harassed and made to feel like outsiders then yes it is a form of discrimination and should be investigated fairly. Does RIOC have any policies in place as this is a serious issue and is unfair. RIOC had advertised an opening in the hr department is this a hint as to turmoil within the corporation? Usually appointees hire their friends to assist in their shenanigans. If we look at the current president her track record this may indicate this can be her next move.

CheshireKitty said...

"Does RIOC have any policies in place as this is a serious issue and is unfair." The policy would have to be the same as any other employer - to abide by the law and not discriminate, and to have a non-retaliatory grievance policy in place. The employees should not fear for their jobs if they complain. If the employee was placed on paid administrative leave because they complained of racial discrimination, that is unfair since it represents separation from their job - more or less one step away from termination. It is unfair to face job loss because of possible racial discrimination. It may reinforce the perception that there is racial discrimination going on, in fact - even on an "official" level.

"RIOC had advertised an opening in the hr department is this a hint as to turmoil within the corporation?" Very good question - it may well hint at turmoil within the corporation. The first thing Indelicato could do though is reinstate the employee - or at least explain to them why they were placed on administrative leave as Chironis requested - and then deal with the complaint. We do not know the circumstances or the details of the racial discrimination. Many times the complaint may relate to promotion, overtime opportunities, or pay raise - the complaint may be that preferential treatment was afforded to "favored" employees and race played a role in the decisions. The complaints must be investigated to make sure this did not happen or if if did - then, as it seem has already happened, the person who made the decision, possibly the HR head, is disciplined. The employees must treated equally. Thus the process would include a review of how the promotion/pay/overtime decisions were made, was there any favoritism/discrimination involved. At least the complaint is taken seriously and the matter is investigated rather than summarily placing the employee on leave - which is separating them from their job. I would hate the think that a hostile work environment was created at RIOC because of the complaint of racial discrimination - but it does appear that there was a hostile work environment based on gender discrimination at the office Indelicato previously supervised in Westchester, leading to the Federal law suit.

"Usually appointees hire their friends to assist in their shenanigans." The first thing I thought of was Martinez and Guerra - that, although never proven, it's possible that Guerra's application was moved to the top of the pile because he and Martinez were friends, or Martinez possibly tipped Guerra off to the job being available and smoothed the way for Guerra to be hired. So, yes, it is quite possible that the "standard" process - i.e. candidates are hired based on whether they are the best candidates for the job rather than if they know someone or are a friend of someone in the organization. (Also - didn't various friends/relatives/in-laws of Torres find jobs at RIOC, or were awarded lucrative vendor contracts, until the plug was pulled on that whole "system" with the fall of Martinez?). Indeed, it'd be interesting to see who is hired as HR director - an old friend possibly from Westchester/upstate, that is, someone with pre-existing "loyalty" who may be more likely to follow without question the directions of the friend that hired them, or someone completely new, independent of the web of prior friendship, who got the job because of their qualifications instead of "who they knew" etc.

Bella Nicey said...

If this person was placed on administrative leave abruptly with no answers perhaps it was clearly a form of retaliation. It's horrible for anyone to work in such an environment on a daily basis. If racial or any form of discrimination is proven Indelicato should be removed at once! with the current climate of the city discrimination will not be tolerated at all. We have seen first hand of the abuse of authority at RIOC with Martinez hiring practices clearly rewarding and placing crooks in positions to further their personal agendas or coverup mismanagement practices. Indelicato seems to leave a trail of investigations everywhere she is employed.

CheshireKitty said...

"If racial or any form of discrimination is proven Indelicato should be removed at once! with the current climate of the city discrimination will not be tolerated at all." Indeed; it may well be that the discriminatory practices at her former Westchester office led to her (forced) departure from that position - and rightly so.

"...Martinez hiring practices..." were clearly an abuse of his position of trust. RIOC had become a cornucopia of money/benefits for his extended family and his friends. Why wasn't the pattern noticed for years? We are not talking about a huge accounting department. Why weren't the problems picked up by those that were supposed to be overseeing the executive staff?

"Indelicato seems to leave a trail of investigations everywhere she is employed." So it seems. Is it possible she was offered the RIOC President position as an "out" as things were once again "heating up" or falling apart at Mt. Vernon? Why did the New Rochelle position last evidently less than a year? I'm sure if we look closely at each of her last three appointments - New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon, and now RIOC, we will probably see the hand of her friends in high places, helping her land the successive positions or directing her to apply each time - smoothing the way, or maybe the appointments each time are the result of some political favors. The longest lasting job seems to have been Westchester - but that ended after the Federal lawsuit - which was certainly unnerving even just to read about. Now the racial discrimination complaint from an employee at RIOC - which, if proven, is equally horrendous, especially, as you say, in today's tense sociopolitical climate. Maybe it is time for her to finally consider retirement - maybe not a moment too soon - although either way the pending case at RIOC must be handled fairly, as Chironis suggested - even if only an explanation given to the employee as to why they were placed on administrative leave.