ELIOT SPITZER - DO THE RIGHT THING
SETTLE THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION SUIT
AGAINST YOUR COMPANY
We understand that Bernard Spitzer, father of former Governor Spitzer is gravely ill and for that we are very sorry. But we appeal to the Spitzers now... before God... to do the right thing and settle the racial discrimination lawsuit pending against him.Since Eliot Spitzer now controls the company where we worked--and were fired- we now appeal to him- again- for Justice.
It is important to note that we have appealed to ELIOT SPITZER himself since 1999 to do the right thing--and he has never responded.
Instead the Spitzer's high-priced lawyers have been fighting four African Americans since 1999 to deny us simple justice. We were four men of African American and Hispanic descent who were employed in a high-end luxury residential building owned by the Spitzer's and managed for them by Gumley Haft. We were initially hired as doormen and maintenance workers by the management company. After Bernard Spitzer became aware of our employment, each of us was terminated within two weeks of each other, for no apparent reason. In each case termination was preceded by an orchestrated campaign of harassment that was designed to induce the four of us to quit.All four of us were replaced by whites.This campaign began immediately after Bernard Spitzer learned of our hiring.
This campaign of harassment included the assignment for doormen to clean the building toilets with a toothbrush, in once case being told "your kind should be use to it by now," and "clean it good, boy" by his supervisor.
One of us who was fired was told by his supervisor when he protested, "you don't get it - Mr. Spitzer told us to get rid of all the niggers." All statements have been sworn to in the lawsuit that went before the Bronx Supreme Court- where we won a favorable verdict.That verdict was overturned by the New York Appeals Court--where Eliot Spitzer or his Lt. Governor appointed three members. None recused themselves.We are appealing that decision.
Not coincidentally, we were terminated just prior to our qualification for union membership and union protection. We were each terminated just before becoming eligible to become members of local 32 BJ, which would have given us protection from being fired without probable cause.
All of this came after direct confrontation with Bernard Spitzer himself on the building property. He refused to respond to any of us - even to a simple "good morning Mr. Spitzer." On one occasion when he saw one of my African American co-workers at the front desk filling in for a concierge who was in the restroom, he went out of his mind yelling, turned real red and stomped off. We are not sure what the word "Schvartzes" means but Mr. Spitzer called us that.
Nonetheless, we wrote to Mr. Spitzer to appeal to him about our jobs and he never responded. We called his office and we were told, "There is nothing he can do." Mr. Spitzer's lawyers now claim falsely he knew nothing about the situation - a blatant lie. We also appealed to ELIOT SPITZER, then serving as Attorney General. He did not respond to our phone calls or a letter appealing to him for Justice.
We were left no alternative other than filing a lawsuit.
The terminations took place in 1999 and we first filed suit against Spitzer and his management company Gumly Haft.
Our first attorney was very aggressive, at first, but seemed to lose interest after he said he was contacted by the New York Attorney General's office. He subsequently failed to make a number of court filings on time and the lawsuit came close to being dismissed due to a statute of limitations. Our attorney just stopped returning our calls.
We fired that attorney and retained new one, Mr. Anthony Ofodil, Esq., who was able to keep the suit alive.We are appealing the Appeals Court Decision which was tainted by a Spitzer appointed Judge hearing our case.
One lawyer for the Spitzer company asked plaintiff Anthony Haydenn if he would take $5,000 cash personally to convince the others to end the lawsuit. He promised not to tell the others Haydenn got money. Haydenn refused.
Bernard Spitzer was on the premises of each of these buildings on a daily basis, was fully aware of the harassment and racial slurs outlined in our lawsuit and it is clear that although we were harassed and terminated by Gumly Haft management, it was at the direction of Bernard Spitzer.
We have started an online petition to former Governor Eliot Spitzer who now has full authority over his ailing father's business and affairs. It's time to do the right thing. It's time for a fair settlement. Sign the petition to urge Eliot Spitzer to redeem himself by to settling this suit with dignity so that we can drop our appeal.
Our colleague and co-worker Leonard Boyce has passed away.Justice delayed is Justice denied.
The surviving members of the 57th Street Four,
Anthony Haydenn ~ Akim Rodriguez ~ Mr. Trevor Morris
[download copy of lawsuit]