NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sexcapades at the New York City Parks Department?
The city’s Department of Investigation is probing allegations of booze-fueled parties where female workers had to perform sexy tricks for cash and promotions, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
Roses were in bloom outside the Parks Department headquarters on Randall’s Island on Wednesday, but things were definitely not rosy on the inside. Officials quickly closed their doors on CBS 2 cameras in an apparent attempt to hide a dirty little secret: two bosses were transferred in the wake of a kinky sexual harassment probe.
The men reportedly set up a stripper pole, provided a ladder for the women to climb up and then, sources said, asked the women to perform.
Sources provided a picture of a woman on the stripper pole to CBS 2. It has also been turned over to the Department of Investigation, which, sources said, has an active probe of Deputy Chief of Operations James Cafaro and Supervisor Angelo Figueroa. It is charged that they hosted private parties in a so-called “boom boom” room on Randall’s Island, where female seasonal employees were asked to entertain to get extra work or permanent jobs. Two women have filed complaints, Kramer reported.
“It’s outrageous. I mean the fact that anyone would be subjected to that,” said Geoffrey Croft of New York City Park Advocates.
Croft said he has spoken to the women involved.
“They brought in a portable stripper pole and they were also asked to do other things, too,” Croft said.
He said the women were sometimes paid for what they did. A kiss was $25. Other things got them a $50 bill.
“At the last Christmas party the two girls I think made about $440 combined,” Croft said.
CBS 2 has obtained copies of text messages that Cafaro reportedly sent to one of the women, texts described by one city official as “inappropriately flirtatious.”
In one, the deputy chief of operations says “what r u doing?” The woman replies “relaxing about to go to sleep.”
“Alone?” he says.
Workers at the Randall’s Island headquarters ran from CBS 2 cameras or denied knowledge of the parties, but the union said that as many as 10 men were invited.
Dilcy Benn, the president of DC37 Local 1505, which represents the women, is calling on other women asked to perform at the parties to come forward and report the harassment.
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