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NYC mayoral aide Timothy Pearson sued by second retired sergeant over sex harassment controversy

Graham Rayman, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK — Top New York City mayoral aide Timothy Pearson is facing a new lawsuit linked to his alleged sexual harassment of retired Sgt. Roxanne Ludemann that includes allegations of a curious remark about the aborted construction of a migrant shelter.

Retired Sgt. Michael Ferrari alleges in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court that after he backed Ludemann’s claims against Pearson and put in for a transfer, Pearson convinced NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey to demote him to patrol.

The lawsuit also includes reference to a comment Pearson allegedly made to two cops in his office behind police headquarters.

Soon after a storm forced the city to move a migrant shelter out of Orchard Beach in October 2022, Pearson told Sgt. Ferrari and Lt. George Huang he was mad the shelter was scrapped after the contractors were already paid, the lawsuit alleges.

“Do you know how these contracts work?” Pearson said, the suit alleges. “People are doing very well on these contracts. I have to get mine. Where are my crumbs?”

From then on, the lawsuit claims, Pearson was known in the office as “Crumbs” behind his back.

The move to patrol, which effectively ended Ferrari’s police career after just 16 years, cost him $2 million in lost salary and pension earnings, the suit claims. After the move, he decided to retire.

“I had no intention of retiring before 20 years, but after Chief Marmara was removed for standing up for my co-worker, I was not going to stay,” said Ferrari, a Duke University grad from Long Island. “At the whim of Tim Pearson, all of our careers were turned upside down.”

Ferrari, Ludemann and Huang had followed Deputy Chief Miltiadis Marmara to the mayor’s Municipal Services Assessment unit created in June 2022 to inspect city agencies.

The lawsuit underscores the apparent power that Pearson, a retired police inspector employed by the city Economic Development Corp., holds, the lawyer for the plaintiff said.

“The common thread in these lawsuits is Pearson is basically a free agent able to pull strings inside the NYPD without any oversight,” said John Scola, the lawyer for both Ferrari and Ludemann.

An NYPD spokesperson said, “We will review the lawsuit if and when we are served.”

“We hold all public servants to the highest standards,” said a City Hall spokesperson. “We will review the lawsuit.”

Ferrari joined the NYPD in 2007 and rose to an elite auto fraud unit before following Marmara to MSA.

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks oversaw their work at 375 Pearl Street. Banks and Pearson each had corner offices. Pearson often sat in on MSA meetings.

The unit examined police misuse of parking placards, cops loitering on their phones on duty, the state of individual schools and how to make 311 more effective.

Some agencies ignored their requests, the lawsuit alleges.


The lawsuit claims Pearson often boasted about his influence. In one instance, a precinct sergeant objected to Pearson filling his gas tank at a station house pump. Pearson claimed he got the sergeant in trouble.

NYPD Patrol Guide Section 219-11 states only cops and other specifically authorized people can use police pumps. It is unclear whether Pearson had that official authorization.

Toward the end of 2022, Pearson took over MSA. On Dec. 1, 2022, Marmara walked in on Pearson touching Ludemann’s shoulder in a photo copy room, the lawsuit alleges.

Marmara directed Ferrari and Huang to make sure Pearson was never alone with female staffers, the lawsuit alleges.

“Come to me immediately if anything happens,” Marmara told Ferrari. “We have to protect the women in the office.”

On April 11, 2023, the dispute between Marmara and Pearson came to a head over the fact Ludemann had not been promoted.

Marmara was transferred and Ludemann, Huang and Ferrari decided to leave the unit.

In an April 12, 2023 staff meeting, Pearson told the cops thinking of leaving they could end up in high crime precincts on patrol. “Before you go jumping ship … be smart about it,” Pearson said, the New York Daily News has reported.

Ferrari, the lawsuit says, took this as a threat.

The next day they were barred from the office and ordered to meet with Maddrey, the lawsuit alleges.

Ferrari and Huang waited for an hour. Pearson then walked out of Maddrey’s office and berated them for not submitting a time-off form, the lawsuit says.

Maddrey called them in and said the two cops will “never work together again,” the lawsuit alleges.

Ferrari, 44, was sent to the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills. Huang was assigned to Transit District 20 in Jamaica.

At the 112th, Ferrari was barred from overtime and assigned to a night tour and the Internal Affairs Bureau confiscated his phone, the lawsuit alleges.

That was the last straw. He retired June 30, 2023.


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