Friday, October 23, 2020

Former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp President Susan Rosenthal Files Lawsuit Against RIOC For Wrongful Termination - Says Allegations Of Racism And Sexist Language Are Malicious, False And Baseless Made By Member Of Long Time Cabal Of RIOC Employees

Reported last June 20 of former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal's 

firing at the direction of NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo carried out by the RIOC Board of Directors based upon certain allegations against Ms Rosenthal made by an employee.

According to this June 20 statement from Rich Azzopardi, Senior advisor to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo:

A complaint was made to the Governor’s office and others on June 12th by an employee of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation that alleged that the President of the organization had u‎sed inappropriate language and engaged in inappropriate conduct in the workplace.

This complaint was immediately referred to the New York State Governor’s Office of Employee Relations for investigation. This investigation substantiated that the President had used racially and sexually offensive language, in clear violation of State policy and the strict standards set by this Administration. The President was Immediately terminated.

The specific allegations made by the employee are contained in an email shown at this prior post)

Ms Rosenthal has remained silent until now. On October 19 Mr Rosenthal filed a lawsuit in NY State Supreme Court alleging wrongful termination. According to the lawsuit (Page 1-2):

... Rosenthal, until her abrupt and improper termination on June 19, 2020, was the President of the Roosevelt  Island Operating Corporation ("RIOC", or "Respondent"). A long time, fierce advocate for civil rights and, more recently, a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement Rosenthal, a white female, brought an increased level of racial diversity to RIOC over her more than five year tenure as President. It is thus both ironic and tragic that Respondents blindly accepted the malicious, false and baseless allegations of racism and using sexist language from a known malcontent employee (the "Employee"). 

Rushing to announce their decision to terminate Petitioner on Juneteenth, Respondents conducted a brief, sham investigation which ignored irrefutable evidence that the allegations were nonsense. Had the Respondents conducted a good faith investigation, they would have quickly come to that conclusion. Instead, not only did Respondents terminate Rosenthal in violation of their own internal policies, but they did so with a public announcement which had the anticipated effect of besmirching a more than 45 year long exemplary career. 

In short, in order to obtain some cheap publicity on Juneteenth, they arbitrarily, maliciously and in violation of law threw Rosenthal under the proverbial bus. By this special proceeding, Rosenthal seeks reinstatement, back pay, attorneys' fees and damages. 

Also (Page 9):

... When she was hired in 2015, Rosenthal was warned by RIOC management of a 'cabal,' which included Employee, which targeted management and sought to oust them from RIOC. Roosenthal was told to be careful because of their propensity. Again further proving the axiom that no good deed goes unpunished, Rosenthal even supported the promotion and increased pay Employee enjoyed....
Here's a copy of the lawsuit.

and Ms Rosenthal speaking during the 2020 Roosevelt Island Black History Month Celebration at Gallery RIVAA.

Stay tuned. This is a developing story.   

Assorted Ideas, Large And Small from David Stone published a report on the Rosenthal lawsuit earlier today.