NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Michael Davitt was desperate.

Davitt tried today to explain his rationale for sitting on top of a large sign he lowered over the side of the Tappan Zee Bridge Monday.

The sign read “Rockland Executive Legislature Coverup Retaliation” on half of it. The other half of the sign wasn’t properly weighted, Davitt told CBS2’s Lou Young, causing it to flap in the breeze. It turns out it contained case numbers of legal filings, Davitt said.

Davitt claims he was wrongly terminated from his position as a substance abuse counselor at the county’s mental health office. He says he “started to express myself” about his firing at county hearings, but got no satisfaction.

Yesterday, Rockland County spokesman Ronald Levine said Davitt “ranted regularly” at county legislative sessions.

“I’ve done virtually everything I can do legally, and, like I said, the retaliation continues,” Davitt said. “I’m not a piece of crap. I’m an American citizen, I’m a veteran, and I was just trying to stand up for my rights,” Davitt said.

“I may be depressed, but it’s an outcropping of all the retaliation,” Davitt said. “I love life, I was not suicidal… I didn’t know what else to do. I don’t feel like I had a choice.”

Davitt says he served in the Navy as a Bosun’s Mate, and learned about knots and rope strength there. He’s also a strong swimmer. Davitt told Young that when he jumped into the water, he tried to swim toward Westchester, not Rockland, which is where he’s been in touch with the District Attorney and other officials about his case.

“Maybe I’m a kid, I was raised on Superman, truth, justice and the American way and all that,” Davitt said. “I need a lawyer, I need a good employment lawyer.”

Speaking of that, Davitt told Young he wished he’d pulled the stunt earlier in the year, when the water was warmer.

Davitt has been charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass, reckless endangerment and other crimes. He is out on $500 bail.

Davitt will be arraigned Nov. 17.

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Comments (11)
  1. Andrea Klee says:

    I worked at the Rocklland Dept. of Mental Health from the 2003-2008 and witnessed personal harassment, retaliation and bulling tactics by supervisors.

    I took care to report the abuse I was facing daily to all the proper channels. All the way up to Commissioner Mary Ann Walsh-Tozer; to no avail.

    Is there a lawyer out there who is not afraid to tackle what I experienced to be an ongoing harassment situation? I want to speak out against bullying in the workplace.

    I have a case file supporting Mr, DaVitt’s complaint against The County of Rockland Department of Mental Health.

    If anyone is interested in the full story behind this outlandish act contact me at the email address below

  2. You do what you have to do, legally says:

    You stand on a street corner holding up a cardboard sign.

  3. Rock1 says:

    This man clearly needs help, but his message is valid. Corruption and mismanagement is rampant in Rockland and needs to be investigated!

  4. myswigger says:

    Doesnt he know that in NY there is no reason needed for termination. If the powers that be want to fire you than they can.
    Go get yourself a dry towell and suck it up. Next time keep in mind that only the cheapest and most submissive peaple have jobs now a days

  5. M.L.Stith says:

    I certainly cannot encourage reckless, dangerous behavior, but… God’s grace he survived and no one was hurt. Were they? I pray he gets the help he needs to resolve his issue in a sane manner. I’m thinking he will.

  6. Huh says:

    Great…this will get him another a job in no time

  7. E says:

    He got BALLS! Proud to know of you pal!!!

  8. Bob Corzine says:

    Help!! Help!! The inmates are taking over the asylum. Help!!

  9. LOL X ! says:

    Now the Judical System will run this guy thru the ringers, but yet these Wall Street Pain in the azz protesters walk on water! What a system! What a Joke!

  10. pete says:

    Davitt is now facing a fight against Goliath, the corrupt indentured servants of the Rockland Executive Legislature, a Monster that slowly is bleeding and devouring the County. Hopefully he will win, as all these Bums are able to hold against him is a ridiculous Character Assassination.

  11. Schmellma Arss says:

    Hey, this guy should start his own political party and run on “The Bridge is too Damn High” ticket.

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