The director of the village of Mamaroneck accuses the trustee of harassment
A disturbing and bizarre list of EEOC workplace complaints filed against a village administrator by the Mamaroneck Village Manager has thrown the village government into turmoil.
Village superintendent Jerry Barberio claims he was harassed and discriminated against by trustee Dan Natchez for investigating a village building department employee accused of working overtime and, according to Barberio, for resisting Natchez’s sexual advances.
The Village Manager manages the day-to-day operations of Mamaroneck Municipal Services and its full-time employees.
The lawsuit, filed in November with the state’s Human Rights Division, accuses Natchez, 78, of sexually harassing Barberio, 54, when Natchez repeatedly offered him a spare room. to sleep at home. During his early days at work, Barberio still lived in Hammonton, NJ, two hours away, and stayed in Darien, CT., before moving to Mamaroneck with his wife in 2019.
“It made me very uncomfortable,” Barberio said in the complaint.
“The first time I told him where I lived, but again a few weeks later he asked me again if I had slept/stayed in accommodation. Both incidents were very inappropriate and uncomfortable I was especially disturbed that despite my initial rejection, he persisted in making the lead again.
“I reported the unwanted advances to Mayor Tom Murphy,” he says in the complaint, “who advised me to ‘stay away’ from Administrator Natchez. This is of course impossible since I regularly meet with the trustees, including during meetings of the board of directors.
Murphy says at the time he didn’t think the complaint against Natchez “was in the context of advances, just improper accommodation.”
Barberio says Administrator Natchez was never advised or warned in any way and the village has yet to investigate or take action.
The other major complaint alleged by Barberio states that Natchez told him to “back off” a Village Building employee who was being investigated for theft. Barberio also states that Natchez continued to wage a campaign of harassment against him.
Mayor Tom Murphy says he thinks the Village Council should investigate these ‘serious’ allegations of pressure on a Village Manager not to watch ‘robbery abuse’.
Harbor Island Park Incident
In September 2020, Barberio states that he received a police complaint from a mother observing Natchez’s “disturbing behavior” at the Harbor Island Park playground, from Natchez allegedly taking pictures of young children.
“It obviously made the mother uncomfortable,” says Murphy.
An investigation is ongoing by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, and evidence presented reportedly includes photos and videos of Natchez photographing children in swimsuits at a local beach in the same month as the playground incident.
Barberio says Natchez used his position as police commissioner to avoid formal charges. All village administrators serve as commissioners overseeing the police department.
Natchez, in an email to theLoop wrote, “The allegations of the EEOC prosecution lack merit and are baseless. I look forward to an independent investigation into the allegations and I will be completely exonerated.
The accusations led Barberio to ask for an exit package after three years on the job. Murphy is against making a payment to Barberio to leave his post.
“Jerry Barberio is doing a great job and I’m not ok with paying him to leave. He’s free to leave if he wants but it would take 3 board members to give him a payment and I’m pretty tough, I’m not one of them.
Barberio would earn $211,818 a year and have a four-year contract with Mamaroneck Village.
Natchez, who reportedly earns $6,865 a year, plans to run for office this year.
Barberio also alleges that Trustee Natchez’s close friend, Stuart Tiekert, a business owner and 30-year-old resident, would send several emails a week “questioning each of the municipal functions managed by me, including items that are unrelated. to him or his property or family in any way.
“Hundreds of emails and Freedom of Information Act (FOIL) requests are sent to the Village and to my attention. Then, at almost every public board meeting, Director Natchez would use his power as a director to pressure me to answer Mr. Tiekert’s accusing questions. …it was clear to me that he was working closely with Mr. Tiekert to harass me, belittle me, and retaliate against me in this way.
“On numerous occasions over the past two years, Barberio states in the complaint, ‘I have asked the Board of Directors, including Administrator Tafur, Administrator Lucas, Deputy Mayor Wenstrup, Mayor Murphy and even Administrator Natchez (who are all my supervisors in the chain of command) to take action to end the hostile work environment created by Mr. Tiekert and Trustee Natchez.
Mayor Murphy says that despite the accusations and personality clashes, “I think the village is still well run and services are still provided. This will eventually be sorted out, people don’t have to worry, our day-to-day operations are in good hands.