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Sexed-Up Correction Officers Getting Busy in the Big House, Lawsuit Says

By James Fanelli | September 20, 2012 7:04am

RIKERS ISLAND — Sex among city correction officers is "rampant" on Rikers Island — and it happens during work hours, a new lawsuit charges.

Correction officer Tomara Bryan is suing the city Department of Correction, accusing her female supervisors of discriminating against her because she had an affair with a married Rikers Island warden. 

The bombshell lawsuit, filed Monday in Bronx Supreme Court, claims a lot of jail workers hook up with one another, but female officers face a double standard because they're seen by their female superiors as the instigators.

"Female DOC captains and/or other female supervisory employees do not treat male DOC employees who engage in consensual sexual relationships with female DOC employees in the same negative manner as they treat the females engaged in such relationships," the lawsuit says.

Bryan claims when her supervisors learned she was dating warden Emmanuel Bailey, they verbally and physically abused her, disciplined her for no justified reason and made her take bogus drug tests.

In February she blew the whistle about the alleged widespread hanky panky in the big house, informing city investigators of "the rampant inappropriate sexual acts taking place on and off the job between and among supervisory and non-supervisory members of the DOC, including, but not limited to Warden Bailey, in violation of departmental rules and regulations," the lawsuit says.

In the lawsuit, Bryan doesn't dish on who is sleeping with whom, but she details her two-year romance with Bailey, which she claims began in July 2010 and ended shortly before his arrest in February 2012 on an assault charge.

The alleged tryst apparently wasn't the first time Bailey stepped out on his wife, who is also a Rikers Island correction officer. The lawsuit claims he had "engaged in numerous other intimate relationships with other uniformed members of the DOC, both supervisor and non-supervisor."

After learning Bailey and Bryan were a couple, supervisors gave her a hard time but never punished him, "even though they were aware that Warden Bailey was repeatedly violating DOC policy," the lawsuit says.

Bailey, who spoke to DNAinfo.com New York on Wednesday, said he was separated from his wife at the time of his relationship with Bryan, and his divorce was finalized in April. He said he and Bryan were a public couple and lived together in Midwood, Brooklyn.

"She had a housewarming with a lot of her co-workers," he said. "It was no secret."

He said the pair had such a strong connection that they got tattoos of each other's first names. "Emmanuel" is tattooed on the small of her back, Bailey said. He also said she flew him to Cancun for his birthday in March 2011 and that they went on an upstate ski trip with his grandchildren.

But the lawsuit alleges that soon after the relationship began, Bailey became physically abusive. He was arrested on Feb. 28, 2012, after Bryan filed a report detailing a history of domestic violence, court records show. He was charged with assault, harassment and menacing, all in the third degree.

A criminal complaint alleges that on Sept. 10, 2011, he punched Bryan in the face, kicked her in the stomach and threatened to kill her during a phone call. He is also accused of punching a hole in the wall of her Flatlands, Brooklyn, apartment and kicking her door off its frame.

Bailey retired from the DOC a day after his arrest. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to disorderly conduct and received a conditional discharge. He received a surcharge of $120 and was ordered to stay away from Bryan for two years.

Bailey said he took a plea deal to avoid a trial. He said his arrest came after he ended the relationship and noted Bryan went to police five months after the alleged assault.

"She was doing this because I broke up with her," he said.

Bryan described himself as a "peaceful guy" who had an exemplary record during his 27-year DOC career — and even helped drop the ball in Times Square one New Year's Eve.

He said he was never physically abusive toward Bryan while the two were living together.

"Ask the neighbors," he said. "They had no complaints, except for the lovemaking."

He also denied the sordid allegations that other correction officers were getting busy during business hours.

"People find their wives there," he said. "Where do you find love at sometimes? Sometimes at the workplace."

Bryan, who joined the Correction Department in 2005, could not be reached. Her lawyer did not return a call for comment.

The lawsuit says in October 2011, Bryan complained about her treatment to the DOC's office of equal employment opportunity, but it never investigated her claims and called them "unsubstantiated." She then filed a discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on March 14, 2012.

Both complaints led to further discrimination by Bryan's supervisors, including derogatory comments and dangerous assignments, according to the lawsuit.

After Bailey's arrest, Bryan was allegedly treated even worse. Her supervisors sent her to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, claimed she violated the sick-leave policy and underpaid her for the hours she worked, the lawsuit says.

The Department of Correction declined to comment on the lawsuit.