NEW YORK CITY — Two former top NYPD officials with close ties to Commissioner Raymond Kelly tarnished the reputation of the head of a private security firm in order to usurp control from him, a new lawsuit charges.
Michael Stapleton Associates, which holds security contracts at the city’s ferry terminals and other high-profile locations, is suing Katherine Lemire and Patrick Timlin, claiming that when they worked at the firm, they disparaged its executive chairman and publicized confidential information.
The lawsuit says that Lemire and Timlin’s end game was to push the chairman, George Harvey, out so they could run MSA, but when that didn't bear fruit they accused him of condoning a racist work environment.
“When it later became clear to these conspirators that Harvey would not retire and that their scheme to oust him would not succeed, Timlin and Lemire launched a malicious and cynical campaign to sabotage the company,” MSA said in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in Manhattan Federal Court, was a response to earlier litigation by Lemire. Last month she sued MSA, claiming she was pushed to quit her new job as a president at the firm after she stuck up for a co-worker who was being harassed with racial comments by a vice-president.
Lemire claimed that shortly after she started in April, Timlin, then the firm’s CEO, asked her to look into allegations that a vice-president had made racist remarks to a black employee. The allegations included referring to her as Rosa Parks and telling her that African-American women with braided hair looked “ghetto,” her lawsuit says.
Lemire’s lawsuit says that when Harvey learned of the investigation, he told Timlin to end it. When Timlin continued to press the issue, Harvey fired him in September, according to her lawsuit.
When Lemire persisted with the racism allegations, Harvey “undermined her authority” and was pushed out in October, her lawsuit claims.
Timlin and Lemire became close working together at the police department.
Timlin worked for the NYPD for two decades, then joined MSA in 2005. He returned to the NYPD in 2010 at Kelly’s request to serve as a deputy commissioner. He re-joined MSA in 2012. Lemire served as Kelly’s special counsel in the NYPD for four years before MSA hired her in April.
MSA’s lawsuit denies Lemire’s allegations and says that Timlin and Lemire had been conspiring to oust Harvey even before she joined the firm, citing email exchanges between the two.
“Far from being a champion of women and minorities, as she seeks to portray herself … Lemire and her co-conspirator, fueled by personal ego and greed, have exploited numerous people, including innocent MSA employees,” its lawsuit says.