Tim Pearson named in another lawsuit over sexual sexual harassment claim, FBI inquiry alleged

NEW YORK — A high ranking NYPD Internal Affairs official pressured an active duty lieutenant to withdraw his account of sexual harassment and retaliation by senior mayoral adviser Timothy Pearson, a new lawsuit alleges.

Lt. George Huang is the third police supervisor, along with two retired sergeants, to sue Pearson for alleged misconduct in the mayor’s Municipal Services Assessment unit. Separately, sources told the Daily News, the FBI questioned all three about Pearson in February and March as part of an unspecified inquiry.

Huang claims in his lawsuit, filed Thursday, that then-Deputy Inspector Joseph Profeta yelled and pounded a table with his fists to get him to change his testimony about Pearson during official interviews in August and October 2023.

“That did not happen,” Profeta insisted in the October interview, the suit alleges. “You never saw this.”

Both Huang’s union lawyer and a union delegate, Lt. Kenan Akaydin, who were present, told Profeta his behavior was “unprofessional and rude,” the lawsuit alleges.

Huang’s lawsuit against Pearson, Profeta and NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey follows retired Sgt. Roxanne Ludemann who sued March 21, alleging that Pearson caressed her arms roughly 20 times and then, after she complained, enlisted Maddrey to get her bounced to four different commands in six months.

Retired Sgt. Michael Ferrari sued April 17, claiming after he backed up Ludemann’s allegations, Pearson engineered his transfer into a career dead end at a Queen precinct, forcing him to retire.

Huang, similarly, claims after he backed Ludemann, Pearson got Maddrey to sideline him on the midnight tour in Transit District 20 in Queens even though he and his wife are still grieving over the March 2022 loss of their seven-year-old daughter to a fatal heart ailment.

He remains on the job, but intends to retire at the end of July.

Meanwhile, on May 31, Profeta was promoted to Inspector in a ceremony. He shook hands with Mayor Adams and Police Commissioner Edward Caban, video shows. Pearson, dressed in a powder blue three-piece suit, was seated on stage in the first row.

“It is clear that the NYPD and City Hall are more interested in protecting Tim Pearson than they are in preventing their employees from being sexually harassed or retaliated against in the workplace,” said Huang’s lawyer John Scola, who also represents Ludemann and Ferrari.

“Three NYPD supervisors have confirmed that Pearson created a culture of sexual harassment which caused a hostile work environment. The city knew about the harassment for more than a year, has taken no action, and allowed those who objected to have their careers senselessly ended.”

Huang’s lawsuit also includes a claim the FBI has been conducting interviews about Pearson. The suit says an FBI agent showed up with an NYPD minder at his home on Feb. 26. The unnamed agent asked Huang about MSA and then said, “Did you work with a guy named Tim Pearson?”

Huang said yes, but declined at that point to speak further out of concern for further retaliation, the lawsuit alleges.

Sources said FBI agents also questioned Ludemann and Ferrari in February and March about Pearson, MSA and whether they had witnessed any illegal conduct.

The basis for the questions remains unclear.

Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, declined comment. An FBI spokesman did not respond to an email.

The NYPD declined comment.

Asked for comment, mayoral spokeswoman Kayla Mamelak did not answer specific questions about the lawsuit. “All three lawsuits have been filed by the same attorney and provided to the same reporter ahead of even filing. We will review the lawsuit,” she said.

Huang’s lawsuit also recounts Ferrari’s account that Pearson, complaining about a lucrative migrant shelter contract in October 2022, said, “Do you know how these contracts work? People are doing very well on these contracts. I have to get mine. Where are my crumbs?”

Huang joined the NYPD in 2004. He was promoted to sergeant in 2010 and lieutenant in 2021.

In March 2022, he began working for then Inspector Miltiadis Marmara, now a chief, and followed Marmara to MSA, a unit created in May 2022 to examine the performance of city agencies.

Huang’s daughter, born with a heart defect, suffered a severe heart attack and lingered in the hospital in critical condition. Marmara visited Huang there each day until the child died March 22, 2022.

MSA was initially overseen by Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks out of 375 Pearl St. with Pearson officially taking over in October 2022 and moving the unit to Queens.

At the Pearl Street offices. Pearson repeatedly asked Ludemann to be his driver and asked her about her marriage, Huang alleges.

“She confided in both the chief and (Huang) about the uncomfortable questions which were sexual in nature,” the lawsuit alleges.

After Pearson moved the office to Queens, Marmara stumbled in on Pearson rubbing Ludemann’s arm during a Dec. 1, 2022 Christmas party.

“You shouldn’t have to navigate harassment,” the chief allegedly said later.

Marmara ordered Huang, Ferrari and a third male supervisor not to leave Pearson alone with any women in the office, the suit alleges.

Huang says in the suit he and Ferrari resented as “grown men,” having to “babysit” Pearson.

After Marmara and Pearson had a blowout argument over promotions in April 2023, Marmara was transferred to Brooklyn North.

Ludemann, Ferrari and Huang asked for transfers following a meeting with Pearson in which he warned them about leaving. The next day, Huang and Ferrari were barred from the MSA offices and then ordered to police headquarters to meet with Maddrey.

After a private meeting with Pearson, Maddrey told the cops, “You guys are collateral damage” and would be on patrol for the rest of their careers, the lawsuit claims.

All of that led to the interviews with Profeta. The NYPD has yet to make any comment on the investigation.

On May 31, Profeta was promoted in front of many of the mayor’s top aides and commissioners. He will see a roughly $10,000 bump in his base pay.

“Men and women who put on these uniforms, they’re the best of what we have to offer this city,” the mayor said. “You serve us proud.”

Huang meanwhile decided to retire at the end of July. He claims Pearson and Maddrey’s actions have cost him more than $2 million in pension and salary.

He and his wife are still grieving the loss of their daughter and working midnights doesn’t make that easier.

“The NYPD’s unwillingness to accommodate Huang due to his child’s death highlights the insidious culture of retaliation which permeates the agency,” Scola said.