THROGS NECK — A NYPD officer plans to sue the city for $15 million, saying she has been the victim of a racially and sexually charged work environment since 2011.
Eunice Vilaseca claims her supervisor at the NYPD's Housing Bureau in the Bronx, Lt. Dennis Azambuja, repeatedly discriminated against her and other minority employees while other supervisors ignored or condoned his actions, according to a notice of claim her lawyers filed March 14.
According to the notice of claim, Azambuja — who works at NYPD's Public Service Area 8 at the Throggs Neck Houses — announced that he had a “Hit List” of African American and Hispanic workers he disliked for their ethnicity. He also made offensive comments about Vilaseca's "Spanish hair," and “openly referred to females as ‘Bit--es’" in the workplace, according to the notice of claim filed by the Sanders Firm.
Vilaseca, who is Dominican, said she filed numerous complaints with the Office of Equal Employment and the Internal Affairs Bureau, but that there was no change in Azambuja's workplace behavior, according to the notice of claim.
Instead, she said, her supervisor and other supervisors retaliated against her, hitting her with falsified disciplinary charges and undesirable assignments, according to the notice of claim.
“The Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and the Internal Affairs Bureau woefully failed to protect Ms. Vilaseca’s Civil Rights by failing to take appropriate action to discipline offending employees or stop further discriminatory behavior in the workplace,” said Eric Sanders, president of the Sanders Firm, in a press release.
The notice of claim, which asks for $15 million in damages, claims that Azambuja also placed "Caucasian male officers who closely affiliate themselves with their minority partners" on his "hit list."
The city's law department and the NYPD did not immediately return calls for comment. A person who answered the phone at the NYPD's Public Service Area 8 said Azambuja was not at work Friday.