A bombshell report published in Sunday’s (Albany) Times-Union brought fresh allegations of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and other unseemly behavior within the New York State Gaming Commission, which has either recently settled or is already facing several lawsuits along similar lines.
A former auditor for the NYSGC’s lottery division called the agency “the most toxic organization in the state” and complained of a co-worker displaying a sign paying homage to the Ku Klux Klan in his cubicle, along with the message, “It’s time to take back Amerikkka.”
For its story, the Times-Union said it interviewed 20 current and former commission employees across multiple divisions, many of whom reported the alleged behavior to supervisors, human resources, or outside agencies and felt that they were “ignored or insufficiently addressed.” NYSGC spokesperson Brad Maione maintained, however, that all alleged issues were dealt with properly and that appropriate discipline was meted out when warranted.
“Hundreds of dedicated employees come to work at the commission every day and strive to serve all New Yorkers in their jobs,” Maione told the newspaper. “Many employees have been with the agency for decades. Many have returned to the commission after leaving for other positions in state government and beyond.”
Maione did not respond to requests by US Bets Monday for further comment.
Detailing the allegations
In addition to the former auditor’s claim that a co-worker hung racist propaganda in his cubicle, other allegations reported in the Times-Union article were as follows:
- A Black horse racing judge at harness tracks in the state told the newspaper that some co-workers said he was hired because having to work with a Black person “would really annoy” some state officials. He also said he received racist letters, both through the mail and affixed to his car.
- A former commission employee sued the agency, claiming her supervisor used a racial slur to describe her biracial child. The supervisor also allegedly made sexual advances toward her, offering promotions if she acquiesced. Many of her allegations were substantiated by independent investigative agencies.
- Another former employee claimed an NYSGC executive asked her to take work trips with him that made her feel uncomfortable. This employee also said that women hid in the bathroom to avoid crude interactions with a male employee, and that one co-worker had a Playboy centerfold hanging in his cubicle. Maione told the Times-Union that the agency determined these allegations were “unfounded.”
- A former harness track employee recalled several incidents in which co-workers used drugs or seemed under the influence while on the job. This behavior was reported to the employee’s supervisors, but no one lost their job as a result.
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