Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Begins In Long Island

Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Begins In Long Island

After six years of delays a high-profile sexual harassment case involving a Huntington Town, Long Island, New York Harbormaster and a town board member is underway. 

The former Harbormaster, William Perks, is seeking $12 million in damages from the city and from former town board member Susan Scarpati-Reilly for sexual harassment.  Mr. Perks contends that Mrs. Scarpati-Reilly couldn’t handle the breakup of their affair and continued to harass Mr. Perks, even demoting him from Harbormaster to a supervisor at a local landfill.

The suit took so long to go to trial because one judge was sick for many years and then died, another was transferred, and attempts to settle out of court took time and eventually wound up fruitless.  The lawsuit Mr. Perks filed is a federal suit seeking monetary damages from his treatment.

Mr. Perks is claiming, among other things that the two had an affair that the city paid for, due to Mrs. Scarpati-Reilly’s position in government.  During work hours the two had numerous cruises and also engaged in sexual activities in her office.  Scarpati-Reilly had denied that the two were engaged in any sexual activity.  Her lawyers are also contending that the affair never happened.

Scarpati-Reilly and her attorneys have already agreed to pay Perks $3,000 in a separate defamation incident.

Lawyers for the town contend that because Scarpati-Reilly was not Perks’ direct supervisor that she cannot be held accountable for harassment that may have occurred while in her city official capacity.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks.


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