Berkman Henoch Obtains Favorable Jury Verdict Against Claims of Political Corruption and Violation of Claimant’s First Amendment Rights

Partners Joseph E. Macy and Donna A. Napolitano have successfully defended the Town of Hempstead against allegations that the Town engaged in employment related discrimination against an employee of the Department of Sanitation as a result of his alleged refusal to engage in political activities on behalf of the Town’s elected officials. Plaintiff alleged that his efforts to become a full-time employee of the Department of Sanitation were frustrated because he refused to contribute to political organizations and engage in political speech favored by the Town’s political majority. Contending that the actions of the Town violated his constitutional rights to freedom of speech and association, Plaintiff sought compensatory, emotional and psychological damages, together with injunctive relief and attorneys fees. Plaintiff’s allegations, which were purportedly supported by audio recordings made of conversations with various employees of the Town, were the subject of numerous print and television news reports.

The jury case was tried before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York between September 9th and 16th of 2019. Following its deliberations, the jury unanimously rejected the plaintiff’s claims and rendered a defense verdict for the Town.

For more information, see Newsday Article Coleman 10.8.19