Friday, September 12, 2014

Recycled Garbage

In June of this year the executive director of NYCERS, Diane D’Alessandro, appointed Diane Bratcher as deputy director of communications for the agency. The position had become vacant when the former director had left to work in the mayor’s office. His annual salary was $150K. I strongly suspect there was no posting for this position.

At the time of this appointment, Bratcher had been working for eleven months as an associate staff analyst at HRA. The hiring salary for new ASA’s is $59,536.

As background, Bratcher graduated from college in 1974. For the next eight years she seems to have been unemployed. In 1982 Bratcher started working for the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility. She worked there until May, 2002. A month later she was hired by the NYC Finance Commissioner, Martha Stack, as an assistant with a salary of $95K.

Three months later in September, Stark was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as as the chair of the NYCERS Board of Trustees. At that point Stark made Bratcher the director of the pension unit at Finance, replacing another woman who was a veteran city attorney who had worked for many years at both the Finance pension unit and the NYC Law Department.

For the next seven years Bratcher functioned as a submissive assistant to Stark. I make this comment based on my observations of their interactions at NYCERS board meetings from 2002 to 2005.

It has been established by the NYC Department of Investigation that Stark was slicing through numerous female employees during her seven years as the Finance Commissioner among other transgressions. According to several Finance employees Stark’s escapades were common knowledge within the agency. It is reasonable to conclude that Bratcher was also aware of this sexual activity by her boss, Stark.

In March 2005, Stark as chair of the NYCERS Board of Trustees fired me as the NYCERS executive director because I was involved with a woman on the NYCERS staff. We have since been married. My wife, fortunately or unfortunately, still works at NYCERS.

In October 2005, Stark and the other trustees appointed D’Alessandro as the new NYCERS executive director. Bratcher was actively involved with this appointment.

In April 2009, Bloomberg accepted Stark’s resignation and ordered an investigation into her activity at Finance including her predatory actions with respect to female employees.

All three women, D’Alessandro, Stark, and Bratcher, are long time politically active gay women.

In January 2011, Bratcher left Finance. Her salary at that time was $125,847. Assuming she had joined NYCERS, she was eligible for an annual pension of approximately $18,200 but not health insurance.

In May 2012, Bratcher started working at the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. She lasted there until April 2013. She started working at HRA in July 2013. I strongly suspect that she rejoined NYCERS because of opportunity to significantly increase her pension and gain health insurance coverage in retirement.

Assuming that D’Alessandro gave Bratcher the salary of the former deputy director of $150,000, a significant increase over the ASA salary, Bratcher will be able to increase her future pension by at least an additional $2,100 for every year she works at NYCERS. She will also be eligible for retirement health insurance by the end of this year.

In 2006 I observed Bratcher being deposed during a libel suit I filed against Stark and the NYCERS Board of Trustees. It is common practice for people to lie when testifying during a deposition. They conclude that there is no evidence to contradict what they say. Usually they are correct. But it is truly punishing when evidence is produced during the testimony that proves that the person being deposed has just lied.

The following is a portion of Bratcher’s December 13, 2006 deposition:

Q. Your testimony is Murphy tells the trustees that the DOI report is inaccurate. He had the relationship with Browne, but the DOI report is inaccurate, right?

A. Right.

Q. He wants an opportunity to correct the DOI report. You're saying he says nonetheless, he is going to retire?

A. Yes.

Q. Unconditionally?

A. Unconditionally.

Q. He is just going to retire?

A. Yes.

MS. CARROLL: Mark this document as Bratcher Exhibit 5. It is numbered N 0040. (Bratcher Exhibit 5, N 0040, marked for identification, as of this date.)

Q. After Murphy made his statement to the board, he left the room and then there was executive session again?

A. Yes.

Q. It is a fact, is it not, that because Murphy had not agreed to retire, that the board voted that Murphy had to go; isn't that what happened?

A. No .

Q. Would you look at N 00040. Do you see the second paragraph?

A. Yes.

Q. This is from you to Llembellis. Who is Llembellis?

A. Llembellis at that time was counsel to The Bronx borough president and his representative to the NYCERS board of trustees.

Q. You prepared this E-mail and sent it to Llembellis telling her what occurred at the NYCERS meeting?

A. Yes.

Q. The second sentence of the second paragraph, everybody else voted that John had to go and empowered Martha to negotiate that with him. You wrote that?

A. Yes.

Q. You wrote it on March 11, 2005, the day after the meeting?

A. Yes.

Q. It was accurate when you wrote it, wasn't it?

A. Not accurate.

Q. Are you in the habit of writing inaccurate memos, Ms. Bratcher?

MR. MARKS: Objection to the form.

A. I am not in the habit of –

Q. No, you're not. In fact, you're a very capable assistant, aren't you?

A. I think so.

Q. When you do things, they are very carefully crafted, like your analytical summary, aren't they?

MR. MARKS: Objection to the form.

A. Sometimes, usually.

Q. One could think this document, Stark 2, was done by a lawyer it is so direct and on the money as to the issues, right?

MR. MARKS: Are you trying to pay her a nice compliment or ask her a question?

Q. This statement when you wrote it was true and accurate because you don't write inaccurate and untrue statements, do you, Ms. Bratcher?

A. It was inaccurate. No vote was taken.

Q. Is there any reason why you would mis-inform Ms. Llembellis as to what occurred at the trustee meeting?

MR. MARKS: Objection to the form.

A. I didn't mis-inform her.

Q. I am asking you, is there any reason why you would mis-inform Ms. Llembellis and tell her that everybody else voted that John had to go and empowered Martha to negotiate that with him; is there any reason why?

A. No reason.

Q. The Earl who abstains on the decision, who is that?

A. Earl Brown, E A R L.

Q. By abstaining, that means he didn't vote?

A. What happened -- you want me to answer what happened?

Q. It says here, Earl ended up abstaining on the decision. My question to you is, Earl was a trustee at the meeting?

A. Yes.

Q. That is what you're intending to advise Llembellis about?

A. Right.