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Female Ferry Worker Was Told Her Harasser 'Not the Bogeyman,' Suit Says

By Nicholas Rizzi | January 25, 2017 5:03pm
 Kristen Andoos, an assistant captain for the Staten Island Ferry, sued the city for discrimination after she was sexually harassed by a co-worker and passed over for promotions.
Kristen Andoos, an assistant captain for the Staten Island Ferry, sued the city for discrimination after she was sexually harassed by a co-worker and passed over for promotions.
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DNAinfo/Theodore Parisienne

STATEN ISLAND — A female assistant captain on the Staten Island Ferry was sexually harassed by a colleague — then told "he's not the bogeyman" when she complained about still having contact with him, a lawsuit claims.

Kristen Andoos was also passed over for promotions, disparaged by her bosses and had other co-workers refuse to work with her, the suit says.

"The facts giving rise to the action bear the hallmark indices to a serious institutional problem as well as an archaic culture that not only turns a blind eye towards discrimination, but encourages it," her lawyer, Paul Youkilis, said.

"It serves as an obstacle to the advancement of women in the workplace."

Andoos filed the suit against the city, the Department of Transportation, her supervisors James DeSimone and John Garvey, and Cpt. Earle Ferenczy in Brooklyn Federal Court Monday.

The DOT referred questions on the suit to the Law Department, and a spokesman there said it'll be reviewed when the department is served.

The suit claims that Ferenczy started to repeatedly harass Andoos in 2011, which led her to file a police report against him.

In 2014, he was given a 45-day suspension, a year's probation and ordered not to contact her.

But, when the probation was over, he cornered Andoos near a copy machine on a boat in Oct. 2015, according to the suit.

She reported it and Ferenczy was put on paid leave, but he was allowed to return to work in January 2016.

Instead of Ferenczy having to change boats, Andoos was ordered to move and her bosses dismissed her fears about getting her personal property from the ship.

"He's not the bogeyman," Garvey told her, according to the suit. "He doesn't have weapons."

Supervisors ignored the no contact order and often refused to give her notice he was boarding a boat that she was on.

Andoos had to have co-workers text her when he was on board and she hid in the bathroom, according to the suit.

Garvey and DeSimone also talked negatively about her to other co-workers after she complained about Ferenczy, leading some to avoid working with her and ignore communications from her ship, the suit says.

"[It] interferes with [Andoos'] performance of her job duties and further places the safety of the Ferry's passengers and vessels at risk," Youkilis wrote in the suit.

Since 2012, Andoos made multiple requests to be promoted to captain, which she's been licensed to do since 2010, but was passed over because of her gender and the complaints against Ferenczy, according to the suit.

Instead, eight male employees with less experience were promoted since 2013. Only one woman was made captain, the suit claims.

Andoos said the entire staff knew that woman planned to leave in a few months for a different job.

Andoos declined to comment through Youkilis.

With additional reporting by Janon Fisher.