“NOW HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS:” NYPD lieutenant accused of sexually harassing female precinct employee now works for Internal Affairs Bureau
August 12, 2019
An NYPD lieutenant accused of sexually harassing a female employee at his former Brooklyn precinct now works for the department unit that investigates police misconduct, the Daily News has learned.
Police administrative aide Kristen Berg was shocked — and fearful — when she heard her former boss, Lt. Mohamed Eltony, was recently transferred to the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
“Now he can do whatever he wants. He can have me investigated for whatever,” Berg, 29, told The News. “Basically this guy got away scot-free and he’s going to do it again.”
Berg filed a complaint against Eltony with the NYPD’s Equal Employment Opportunity Division in May 2018 after what she said was months of enduring her new boss’ sexual advances at the 62nd Precinct stationhouse in Bath Beach.
“At first you think, he’s a new supervisor, he wants to be friendly, he wants to get to know everybody. Then certain things started happening,” Berg said.
Among the allegations in the complaint — which the EEOD would eventually find to be unsubstantiated — were that Eltony tried to kiss Berg and inappropriately suggested multiple times that she put on another female officer’s lip gloss to make the cop jealous.
When Berg rebuffed him, she claims Eltony pulled strings to move her to a less desirable position.
“When I asked why I was moved, my supervisor said my head wasn’t in it. She never let me explain to her why my head wasn’t in it,” said Berg.
Berg said the lieutenant often distracted her by making her come to his office and lock the door.
“It got to the point where he wanted to put a desk in his office and move me downstairs permanently,” she said.
She thought by filing a complaint with EEOD she would see some justice. Instead, the NYPD dismissed Berg’s claims and Eltony was simply moved to the 6th Precinct in Lower Manhattan in June 2018.
Berg said she was afraid to confront Eltony because of his influence in the department.
“Maybe if I had gone to somebody earlier and sooner, the outcome would’ve been different,” she told The News. “Honestly, I don’t feel that would’ve made a difference.”
Berg also filed a discrimination claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But the federal agency told Berg two months ago they were “unable to conclude that the information establishes a violation of Federal Law on the part of Respondent [NYPD].”
“This does not certify that Respondent is in compliance with the statutes,” the June 25 letter said.
When asked for comment, an NYPD spokeswoman reiterated that the federal government had dismissed Berg’s case “due to lack of evidence.”
“There is no tolerance for sexual harassment in the NYPD, and the NYPD encourages anyone with a complaint of sexual harassment to report it so it can be thoroughly investigated,” said Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell.
“This is a baseless allegation that’s been thoroughly investigated by the department,” said Louis Turco, president of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association. “This is clearly a EEO [equal employment opportunity] allegation that’s been used as a weapon to tarnish my lieutenant’s reputation. We plan on defending this to the end.”
Police confirmed he was recently transferred to the Internal Affairs Bureau, but contended that IAB does not investigate claims of sexual harassment. That responsibility falls to the Deputy Commissioner of Equity and Inclusion, they said.
Berg believes her case was doomed from the start because no one took her accusations seriously. She is considering filing a lawsuit.
“They [the NYPD] will always protect the bosses. It doesn’t matter what happens to you. They will go out of their way to protect the bosses,” she said. “He’ll get promoted to captain and that’ll be it. Nothing will happen to him. It’s almost like, what’s the point of saying anything?