The pinnacle of one of the most important operators of homeless shelters in Ny city was fired on Monday as Bronx prosecutors opened a legal investigation into allegations of a protracted sample of sexual abuse and money misconduct that had long gone mostly unchecked by his Business and the city.
The executive, Victor Rivera, experienced assisted discovered the Bronx Guardian Housing Network, and around twenty years experienced overseen its progress into a major service provider of housing and products and services even though the city’s homeless population climbed to report numbers.
The investigation and dismissal of Mr. Rivera followed an investigation from the Big apple Times, which observed that 10 Gals, like homeless Women of all ages being in his organization’s shelters, had accused him of sexual assault and harassment. Two of Those people women said Mr. Rivera experienced coerced them into executing oral sex. Mr. Rivera also applied his nonprofit, the Bronx Father or mother Housing Network, to enrich himself and his family, The Situations found.
Hrs once the Tale was revealed, Mayor Monthly bill de Blasio purchased a sweeping audit of town’s $two billion homeless shelter Procedure. The Bronx Father or mother Housing Network is one of about 70 groups that run shelters for the city.
In an announcement released on Monday, the board of directors of the Bronx Dad or mum Housing Community explained it experienced fired Mr. Rivera, sixty, and condemned what it known as his “abhorrent and abusive conduct.” In response for the Occasions’s results, the city had now directed the nonprofit to rent a lawyer to overview Mr. Rivera’s steps, and the team said it supported the Ladies who experienced come ahead.
“B.P.H.N. acknowledges how tough this must be and is particularly devoted to function a resource for his or her therapeutic, not an impediment,” the board mentioned during the assertion.
Mr. Rivera has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, and in a prior assertion explained he had usually treated Ladies with regard. He known as the allegations “unfair, baseless and with out merit.”
A spokeswoman for that Office environment of the Bronx district lawyer, Darcel D. Clark, said prosecutors ended up investigating the allegations within the Instances’s story but didn't specify if they would study the accusations of sexual abuse or monetary improprieties, which bundled Mr. Rivera steering contracts to his associates and entangling his nonprofit with for-revenue ventures he ran.
“We're investigating anywhere the evidence potential customers,” the spokeswoman, Patrice O’Shaughnessy, explained.
Tim Gilbert, a spokesman for your Bronx Guardian Housing Community, declined to reply specific questions about why the board experienced not acted sooner when accusations mounted against Mr. Rivera.
“We're on the lookout into these troubles and can't focus on the main points for the time being,” Mr. Gilbert stated.
Mr. Rivera’s therapy of girls had been widely talked about in the Bronx Mother or father Housing Network recently, former staff told The Periods.
The Group compensated a merged $one hundred seventy five,000 in private settlements in 2017 and 2019 to 2 former workers who accused Mr. Rivera of sexual harassment and assault, records confirmed. One of these experienced informed the Big apple law enforcement that Mr. Rivera slapped her and forced her to perform oral sex in a shelter where she worked.
A homeless woman also complained towards the The big apple Division of Social Expert services, which oversees shelter operators, about becoming sexually harassed by Mr. Rivera in 2017. But the town referred her criticism back to the Bronx Father or mother Housing Network, which determined it had been unfounded. Along with a previous worker sent a companywide electronic mail in 2018, alluding to Mr. Rivera’s abusive behavior and said he was quitting because like a father of a young girl, he would “be devastated to are aware that she could be preyed on by a predator which includes leverage over her.”
Mr. Rivera Started the Bronx Parent Housing Community in 2000 with Others from his church. Given that just 2017, his Corporation has obtained $274 million in town funding to operate Practically 70 web sites of homeless housing.
But as town funding arrived in, Mr. Rivera’s individual fortunes also grew. He enmeshed his for-income housing companies with the funds of his nonprofit, steered worthwhile contracts to good friends and associates, and supplied jobs to various members of his family, The Situations discovered.
A whistle-blower told the town Division of Social Solutions about Mr. Rivera’s nepotism and conflicts of interest in 2017, and the town put the group on the Specific watch listing. But Mr. Rivera ongoing to find ways to benefit himself and his associates, The Moments located.
The nonprofit’s board for years was crammed with friends and associates of Mr. Rivera, The Periods found. In the earlier statement, an attorney with the Bronx Mother or father Housing Network explained each of the board customers with probable conflicts had resigned. Inside the Business’s early days, the attorney mentioned, Mr. Rivera experienced relied on his individual contacts to construct his operation.
The Bronx Parent Housing Network board on Monday named Ululy Rafael Martinez, an attorney, as its new president.