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Nicole Corrado, Appellate Division First Department Attorney, Sues the New York State Unified Court System
An attorney for the Appellate Division, First Department's disciplinary committee alleges in a federal lawsuit that she was sexually harassed by two now-retired officials at the watchdog agency while a third retaliated against her for complaining.
          
Nicole Corrado, Appellate Division First Department Attorney, Sues the Court System
Attorney for Department Disciplinary Committee Sues Court System
The New York Law Journal by John Caher - May 16, 2012
re-posted from NYCourts-New York Court Corruption
LINK

An attorney for the Appellate Division, First Department's disciplinary committee alleges in a federal lawsuit that she was sexually harassed by two now-retired officials at the watchdog agency while a third retaliated against her for complaining.

Nicole Corrado also suggests that after she lodged a complaint officials retaliated by targeting her attorney in an unrelated property matter. She claims that the committee launched an investigation into allegations of bribery and forgery against her attorney, and then suddenly dropped the matter when he abandoned her case. Additionally, Corrado claims she was punished for supporting a lawsuit brought against the court system by a colleague. Corrado v. New York State Unified Court System, 12-cv-1748, filed in the Eastern District on April 10, alleges violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Corrado, who has served as a principal attorney at the disciplinary committee since 2006, claims she endured years of harassment by her supervisor, Andral Bratton, and that the committee's chief investigator, Vincent Raniere, touched her inappropriately and forcibly kissed her on several occasions.

According to the complaint, when Corrado reported the "pattern of sexual harassment" by Bratton and Raniere in 2008, the court system referred the matter to its inspector general. However, only the allegations against Bratton were investigated, the complaint claims. The complaint states that Bratton admitted during the Office of the Inspector General probe that he was "smitten" with Corrado and crossed "an emotional boundary." Bratton was transferred to another unit at the same salary and Corrado was simply told to "avoid" him, according to the complaint. Corrado alleges that while her sexual harassment complaint was pending, she retained an attorney to represent her in an unrelated action involving a property dispute. She claims the disciplinary committee instigated an investigation into that attorney—who is not named in her complaint—involving allegations of bribery and forgery.
Corrado contends that after the attorney withdrew from her case and her claim was dismissed, all of the ethical charges against her lawyer were dropped. She claims that because of her attorney's abrupt withdrawal, her civil case was dismissed and she was "ultimately forced to settle her case for a fraction of its value." Bennitta Joseph of Borrelli & Associates in Great Neck, who is representing Corrado in the civil rights claim, declined to identify the allegedly intimidated attorney who represented her client in Corrado v. East End Pool & Hot Tub. Corrado also claims in her complaint that she was retaliated against for supporting the claim of a colleague who accused the agency of racial discrimination.

The complaint does not identify that employee, but Joseph confirmed in an interview that it was Christine Anderson, a former staff attorney who alleged she was wrongfully discharged in June 2007 on a pretext of insubordination after she revealed that the panel was protecting well-connected attorneys. A jury rejected her claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the verdict (NYLJ, Oct. 30, 2009). Corrado contends that after she agreed to corroborate Anderson's allegations of "racial discrimination and other improper conduct" by the disciplinary committee, Alan Friedberg, the committee's chief counsel, threatened her and gave her an unreasonable workload. Additionally, Corrado says Bratton threatened her. In light of Corrado's complaint, Anderson has asked the Second Circuit to reinstate her claim. Anderson contends in her petition that Corrado, who testified on her behalf at a deposition but not at trial, "was threatened and chilled into not testifying" at her trial, constituting a "manifest attack on our system of law and a clear denial of appellant's right to a fair trial."

Corrado claims that because of the anxiety and stress from the harassment she endured at the disciplinary committee she took a two-year unpaid leave of absence between 2009 and 2011, returning only after Bratton, Raniere and Friedberg had left. According to the Office of Court Administration, all three took advantage of an early retirement incentive in the fall of 2010. "She feels like she has to do something," Joseph said. "She took a two-year leave of absence because the environment had become so toxic, and then once all the offending parties left, she came back." Raniere said the allegations are false. "I didn't do a damned thing," he said. Friedberg declined to comment. Bratton could not be reached. David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration, declined to respond, noting that the court system does not comment on pending litigation. John Caher can be contacted at jcaher@alm.com.

Posted by Corrupt Courts Administrator at 6:04 AM

16 comments:

Another DDC victim said...
Earth to 1st Department Presiding Judge Gonzalez- you must take decisive action regarding the failings of the DDC. Continuing the cover-up of crimes and not CORRECTING the misdeeds is UNACCEPTABLE. Yes, things are much better under Jorge Depico.... but they really couldn't have gotten worse under Cahill, Friedberg and Sherry Cohen. But JUSTICE DEMANDS CORRECTION, Judge Gonzalez, and you know it. If you can't do it, please resign as PJ.
May 16, 2012 6:45 AM

Anonymous said...
A federal lawsuit in the Second Circuit's courts requires belief in the tooth fairy or the proper connections and payments. Contact Chuck Schumer for advice.
May 16, 2012 7:42 AM

Anonymous said...
Oh yes, I know first-hand of the rampant corruption at the DDC...tampering with evidence, whitewashing complaints, letting sexual offenders get off with a slap on the wrist, as long as they're "POLITICALLY CONNECTED" they get a free pass..UGH,why aren't the FEDS doing something about these criminals PLEAZZZEEEEE!!!!
May 16, 2012 8:31 AM

Anonymous said...
Tampering with evidence is a CRIME, allowing Lawyers to get away with sexual abuse, is a CRIME, allowing complaints against Prosecutors, without investigating, is a CRIME, harrassing witnesses is a CRIME, taking money to protect "POLITICALLY CONNECTED" attorneys, is a CRIME, whitewashing complaints against attorneys, is a CRIME!!!!!!!!!!
May 16, 2012 9:39 AM

Anonymous said...
Tampering with evidence is a CRIME, allowing Lawyers to get away with sex abuse, is a CRIME, allowing complaints against Prosecutors, without investigating, is a CRIME, harrassing witnesses is a CRIME, taking money to protect "POLITICALLY CONNECTED" attorneys, is a CRIME, whitewashing complaints against attorneys, is a CRIME!!!!!!!!!!
May 16, 2012 9:40 AM

Searching For Rule Of Law In America said...
haven't we all seen this movie before (Anderson v. State of NY)...

we've gotta do more than just express our disgust and opinions...

i know that there are many who are reading this blog that still have legitimate causes of action that have, in one way or another, been affected by the actions, or by similar actions that are at the heart of this Complaint...

you must assess your own matter and find an effective means of bringing it to the attention of the highest judicial or legislative body available... and within your filings, give ample mention of this current action... and others that show how the Constitution of the US and of the State are being routinely disregarded and violated by those in positions of apparent authority...

you must stand up and fight... whatever you stand to lose pales in comparison of what you will surely lose if you remain silent...

this action needs your support...

--Michael A. Hense is Searching For Rule Of Law In America
May 16, 2012 9:40 AM

hey mo said...
Where are the 3 stooges (Cahill, Friedberg and Cohen) now?
May 16, 2012 10:00 AM

Searching For Rule Of Law In America said...
just tweeted this... recommended it on Google...

and in response to tweet from #SecClinton dialog with CivilSociety, i replied with this... .@StateDept "Rule of Law".. i keep hearing this phrase.. #SecClinton PLEASE, HELP US HERE IN NY http://blackwallofsilencepart1.blogspot.com/ exposecorruptcourts.blogspot.com

get on twitter now and let em hear from you...

--Michael A. Hense is Searching For Rule Of Law In America
May 16, 2012 11:18 AM
Anonymous said...
The DDC 'watch dogs' have been acting like dirty dogs, not overseers of 'ethics'
May 16, 2012 12:42 PM
insider said...
GO TO WASHINGTON !!!
NO ONE FROM NEW YORK CAN HELP WITH THE CORRUPTION !!!!!!
May 16, 2012 12:49 PM

Anonymous said...
SHUT DOWN the DDC's..clean house..gather up the paddy wagon's ..load up the truck ..next stop.. JAIL!
May 16, 2012 12:53 PM

Anonymous said...
I heard that after Alan Friedberg was forced out of the DDC because he was corrupt, his buddy Tembeckjian hired him at the CJC. Pretty funny, you can't make this stuff up. So now the wimp Friedberg is checking on the ethics of the judges at the Commission on Judicial Conduct. This is all so crazy.
May 16, 2012 1:15 PM
hear one, hear all..... said...
So Andral got pulled out of the DDC and they (the other OCA sexual deviants) hid him at the 1st Dept courthouse. That's how your court system handles sexual abuse in the workplace, my peoples.
May 16, 2012 1:45 PM
Related Case said...
Cahill took my documented complaint home to burn in his fireplace. It kept him warm and everything disappeared (there is No Record) and his friends who he protected made sure he had a good Christmas.
May 16, 2012 4:12 PM
Anonymous said...
WOW said...look at the case in the Matter of Steven S. Greenberg!"

In disciplinary proceedings involving sexual misconduct, two-year suspensions have been imposed where the attorneys had sexual relations with their clients. Shorter periods of suspension are appropriate where an attorney has made sexually oriented or offensive comments" (Matter of Isaac, 76 AD3d 48, 52 [2010] [internal citations omitted]). Thus, for example, in Matter of Weinstock (241 AD2d 1 [1998]), an attorney was suspended for two years for exposing his private parts to a family court client on two occasions and engaging in oral sex with the client on at least one of the occasions. In Matter of Isaac (76 AD3d 48, supra), an attorney who made unwanted sexual advances toward a client was suspended for six months, with the court taking into consideration his age and his long and unblemished record practicing law [FN2]
May 16, 2012 5:35 PM
Anonymous said...
"In Matter of Isaac (76 AD3d 48, supra), an attorney who made unwanted sexual advances toward a client was suspended for six months, with the court taking into consideration his age and his long and unblemished record practicing law [FN2]"

Are you kidding me "sexual advances" more like "FELONY LEVEL SEXUAL ABUSE", extortion, coercion, unlawful imprisonment, obstruction of justice, etc. what the heck are these people smoking!!!!!!

"with the court taking into consideration his age and his long and unblemished record practicing law".

I hardly think he had an "unblemished record"..it's more like he had the "RIGHT CONNECTIONS" in the right places!!
May 16, 2012 5:40 PM
Corrado v East End Pool & Hot Tub, Inc.
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Corrado v East End Pool & Hot Tub, Inc. 2010 NY Slip Op 00646 [69 AD3d 900] January 26, 2010 Appellate Division, Second Department Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431. As corrected through Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nicole Corrado, Respondent,
v
East End Pool &Hot Tub, Inc., et al., Appellants. —[*1] Faust Goetz Schenker & Blee, LLP, New York, N.Y. (Lisa L. Gokhulsingh of counsel), for appellants.
Paris & Chaikin, New York, N.Y. (Jason L. Paris and Sourean A. Israelyan of counsel), for respondent.
In an action, inter alia, to recover damages for negligence and breach of contract, the defendants appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Rosengarten, J.), dated May 13, 2009, which, among other things, denied that branch of their cross motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.
Ordered that the order is modified, on the law, by deleting the provision thereof denying that branch of the defendants' cross motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and substituting therefor a provision granting that branch of the cross motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the cause of action to recover damages for negligence and otherwise denying the branch of the cross motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint with leave to renew after the completion of discovery; as so modified, the order is affirmed, with costs to the plaintiff.
The gravamen of the negligence cause of action in this case is that the work performed under the contract was performed in a less than skillful and workmanlike manner. Such a cause of action sounds in breach of contract, not negligence (see Staten Is. N.Y. CVS, Inc. v Gordon Retail Dev., LLC, 57 AD3d 760, 763 [2008]; Panasuk v Viola Park Realty, LLC, 41 AD3d 804, 805 [2007]). The plaintiff's allegations of negligence are "merely a restatement, albeit in slightly different language, of the . . . contractual obligations asserted in the cause[s] of action [alleging] breach of contract" (Clark-Fitzpatrick, Inc. v Long Is. R.R. Co., 70 NY2d 382, 390 [1987]). Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted that branch of the defendants' cross motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the negligence cause of action.
The defendants failed to meet their prima facie burden of demonstrating entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on the remaining causes of action (see Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320 [1986]; Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557 [1980]). As the defendants failed to meet their prima facie burden, we need not consider the sufficiency of the plaintiff's opposition papers (see Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851 [1985]). In any event, the defendants' cross motion was made before discovery was complete, and many of the essential issues of fact are within the knowledge of individuals who have not yet been deposed (see Long Is. Power Auth. v Anderson, [*2]67 AD3d 652 [2009]; Town of Riverhead v County of Suffolk, 66 AD3d 1004 [2009]; Yerushalmi & Assoc., LLP v Westland Overseas Corp., 21 AD3d 1098, 1099 [2005]).
The defendants' remaining contention is without merit (see CPLR 325 [d]; NY City Civ Ct Act §§ 201, 202). Skelos, J.P., Balkin, Leventhal and Lott, JJ., concur.

 
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