New York Daily News

Apr. 11, 2012


 

79th Precinct cops claim retribution

Nine officers say poor evaluations are payback from commander

By Rocco Parascandola
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Police officer and 9/11 first responder Alonzo Harris's discussed carcinogens found on his uniform during a press conference on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Hagen for New York Daily News

Todd Maisel/New York Daily News

Nine cops at 79th Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, say their commander gave them unsatisfactory job ratings after they complained about ticket quotas

Nine cops at an embattled Brooklyn precinct say they got subpar evaluations as payback for complaining about ticket quotas and standing up to a superior’s alleged racism, the Daily News has learned.

Tensions have been high at the 79th Precinct for more than a year.

The News reported in late 2010 that officers assigned to the 4 p.m. to midnight shift had discussed holding a daylong summons boycott to protest quotas. Police at the time said the commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Peter Bartoszek, was simply trying to get lazy cops to be more productive.

Then, last October, a white cop at the Bedford-Stuyvesant stationhouse, Sgt. Sean McLaine, was placed on modified duty after he was accused of calling a black cop, Officer Roberto Stokes, “boy.”

In January, sources close to the officers said, the nine cops got subpar evaluations, grades no greater than 2.5 out of 5.

All the officers — four black, three Hispanic and two Asian — had scored higher in the past, sources close to them said, but were targeted for retribution this time by Bartoszek.

An NYPD spokeswoman, Inspector Kim Royster, said the evaluations were done by a black sergeant and that race was not a factor in the evaluations.

Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said the concerns in the 79th Precinct reflect a department-wide problem.

“There are some unscrupulous bosses in the NYPD who use the evaluation system as a weapon,” Lynch said. “Instead of providing constructive criticism some use it to extract retribution for personal petty differences. The PBA will use every tool at its disposal, legal and otherwise, to ensure that our members are treated fairly and with respect.”

Officers can appeal their evaluations. Sources close to them said the nine cops in this case had appealed and lost, but the union said its records did not show that.

The officers are being advised by civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel, who said legal action is being considered.

“These are good officers who have legitimate concerns,” Siegel said.

Roy Richter, head of the union representing Bartoszek, said the deputy inspector “runs his command in a fair and even-handed manner.”

rparascandola@nydailynews.com