Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Bronx DA’s office overrun with sex, booze and fights, employee says

Bronx DA’s office overrun with sex, booze and fights, employee says
 The Bronx District Attorney’s office is a cesspool of on-duty sex, swinging margarita-soaked parties and rampant prosecutorial misconduct, a veteran crime analyst with the office claimed Monday in papers filed with the city.

Crystal Rivera, an 11-year employee, said she has witnessed prosecutors cheat on their husbands and wives, boozed-up assistant district attorneys stumble to court after a few drinks and even the occasional brawl.

“It’s been something in the office that’s been going on for many years,” she said.

“People are having sex in the office,” Rivera said. “We used to have parties called ‘the narcotics parties’ where ADAs (would) have sexual relationships with officers and prosecutors. We’ve had incidents where ADAs are having sex with each other and they're married.”

When she worked in the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Unit, Rivera said, prosecutors would use the tough cases they were working on as excuses to get hammered nearly daily.

“We would have a party every week,” she said. “At first it was because, ‘Oh, we had a hard day. We had a hard week. We had a hard case.’ Then it just became routinely popular and our office in our floor was known for partiers.”

Rivera, a mom of four, said some staffers stockpiled liquor and other alcoholic beverages in their offices.

She said prosecutors would down alcohol, but still go to court.

“(The ADAs) would drink and we’d page them, ‘The court is calling,’ ” she said. “They would answer their pagers, go to court — physically and mentally intoxicated — do their job and come back.”

Rivera, who earned $45,000 in 2017, made the scathing remarks as she talked about a $15 million notice of claim she’s made to sue Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark for ordering her not to speak to the NYPD cop she was dating.

Rivera said the egregious misconduct she witnessed always made her uncomfortable, but she didn’t know who to report it to.

“It's just ridiculous that we have to sit and condone this just because we are staff members and they are prosecutors,” she said. “Who do we talk to when our superiors are the ones doing this?”

Rivera said Clark is responsible for allowing the misconduct.

“(Clark’s) their bureau chief and she’s their officer. She should be aware of what’s going on in her building. This is her territory,” she said.

“I’m pretty much calling on our mayor and councilmen to step in and see what’s going on and investigate. This is my name and my reputation. I did nothing wrong.”

Clark’s office was mum about the allegations Monday.

Rivera is dating Officer David Terrell, who has been sued multiple times on allegations of making false arrests and roughing people up.

Notably, he was accused of threatening a victim into naming Pedro Hernandez, 18, as a suspect in a 2015 shooting. Hernandez was cleared in September of culpability in the shooting, and sued Terrell and the NYPD.

“Both Terrell and the district attorney erred in the actions they took against Pedro Hernandez. “Pedro is completely innocent,” said Hernandez’s lawyer, John Scola. “They both were responsible for the malicious prosecution and the false arrest of Pedro Hernandez.”

Rivera is now facing disciplinary charges for dating Terrell. She claims the DA’s office botched the Hernandez prosecution and then tried to shift blame for the failure to Terrell.

Clark “publicly vilified” Terrell and falsely claimed the cop had a “mole” in the DA’s office through Hernandez’s private investigator Manny Gomez, who was given broad access to prosecutors, the notice of claim says.

Terrell sued the NYPD in October, claiming he was being discriminated against.

“They felt they would target me to get to him,” Rivera said. “Now I am the one suffering for this. ... I am personally being disciplined just because I have a relationship with Det. David Terrell.”

Rivera was put on administrative leave with pay on Aug. 30 because the DA administrators told her not to contact Terrell, but then found at least 70 texts and calls between the two in her phone records.

“What are they gonna do — tell her she can’t talk to her boyfriend?” said Rivera’s lawyer, Eric Sanders. “That’s her First Amendment right. ... She didn’t violate a rule.”

Sanders slammed the Bronx DA’s office for what he said are trumped up, made-up charges.

“It is ridiculous ... she had a personal relationship with this man long before the Pedro Hernandez debacle,” he said.

Sanders also said prosecutors are sitting on evidence he believes will prove Hernandez guilty.

“He’s not some innocent kid who was falsely imprisoned,” the lawyer said.

Rivera says Clark assigned prosecutor David Slott to handle the Hernandez case, and her notice of claim alleges senior members of the DA’s office were unaware of crucial evidence until after the case collapsed.

In August, Terry Gensler, a prosecutor in charge of the DA’s gang and drug unit, allegedly told Slott, “S--t you are buried, all they have to do is put a tombstone on your grave.”

After that, she claims, the officer started its witch hunt against Terrell. Clark announced an investigation and Slott was transferred to the appeals bureau as part of the probe. He has been accused of intimidating witnesses.

Meanwhile, Clark said she was opening an investigation into the 42nd Precinct, where Terrell works. Sanders claims that the investigation was actually an “elaborate ruse” to cover up misconduct by the DA’s office.

Clark, however, asked the feds to assist in the investigation.

A spokeswoman for Clark declined comment and referred a query to the Corporation Counsel’s office, which said, “We will review the notice of claim.”
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