An NYU administrator is accusing the school for failing to honor her promotion after she claimed that then-New York University Schack Institute dean James Stuckey sexually harassed her in a 2011 incident, according to a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court.
Stephanie Bonadio, 34, alleges that Mr. Stuckey had “forcibly placed her hand on his crotch and his erect penis” while the two were discussing her recent promotion at a dinner at The Strip House on September 23, the suit says.
In the Spring of 2011, Ms. Bonadio had been promoted to Director of Corporate and Executive Education, which also came with a bump in salary. She claims in the suit that her promotion was never officially put in effect, and she requested a meeting with Mr. Stuckey in the hopes of speeding up her promotion, according to the suit (which can be read in its entirety by clicking the link at the bottom of this article).
“The job that she then had was never clarified, except it was clarified that she didn’t have the job that he gave her,” said Kathleen Peratis, Ms. Bonadio’s attorney.
Three days following the alleged incident, Ms. Bonadio said she reported it to the head of human resources at NYU. On September 30th, she received a text message and phone calls from several New York University officials stating that Mr. Stuckey had resigned from the school, citing “health reasons.”
Mr. Stuckey had also resigned from his position as president of the city’s Public Design Commission around that same time.
Then, on October 6, Ms. Bonadio was told by school officials that “her job no longer existed and that there was no specific job at NYU into which she could be placed,” according to the suit.
An New York University spokesman told The NY Daily News that Ms. Bonadio was never fired for lodging a sexual harassment complaint against Mr. Stuckey.
“She continues to have a job and we have urged her to work,” NYU Vice President for Public Affairs John Beckman told the NY Daily News. He was not immediately available for comment.
Ms. Peratis said she had yet to receive definitive word from NYU that Ms. Bonadio still has her job at the school.
“If and when they tell us that, we will take appropriate steps, but we’re not going to do this in the press,” she added.
The lawsuit, which was filed yesterday, is seeking punitive damages, lawyers fees, owed salary, and trial by jury, among other demands.
Mr. Stuckey made headlines years before when he abruptly resigned as head of the Atlantic Yards development during his time as an executive vice president of Forrest City Ratner Cos.
His resignation was spurred on by internal complaints that Mr. Stuckey had acted improperly at a company Christmas party, where he had a number of female colleagues sit on his lap inside a private room in a club, The NY Post reported.
UPDATE (1:38 P.M.)
NYU Spokesman John Beckman quickly sent us this statement about Ms. Bornadio’s lawsuit:
“We have not seen the legal papers in this case, though we have been in contact with Ms. Bonadio’s attorneys for some time.
“The University does not tolerate sexual harassment, and all NYU employees are required to complete sexual harassment training. The allegation that the University would punish someone for reporting sexual harassment is entirely false; in fact, we take such complaints seriously and act quickly to investigate them.
“Mr. Stuckey has not been an NYU employee since late September.
“Ms. Bonadio has not appeared at work or undertaken any work assignments since about that same time, though the University has continued to pay her. We have made clear to Ms. Bonadio’s attorneys that she continues to have a job open for her – Director of Corporate Services for the SCPS Division of Programs in Business — and we have urged her to return to work; neither she nor her attorneys have been clear about either accepting or rejecting the position.”