An autistic ex-City Council staffer suing a Brooklyn pol for discrimination fees a former co-employee now operating for the Council seat participated within the abuse.
Michael Bistreich, who slapped Councilman Vincent Gentile with the suit final yr, blasted Justin Brannan — a former Gentile aide operating in subsequent month’s Democratic main for the Bay Ridge seat.
Bistreich, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, stated Brannan cruelly in contrast him to Avonte Oquendo — an autistic Queens teen who died after going lacking from his faculty — and used a robotic voice to mock him.
“He thought it was a joke,” Bistreich advised the Daily News.
Bistreich slapped Gentile with the $10 million lawsuit final December, charging he was demeaned and humiliated whereas working as his laws and finances director. Brannan was not named within the go well with, which singled out Gentile and his former chief of employees John Mancuso.
But he informed The News that in a press convention about “Avonte’s Law” — a measure pushing alarms on faculty doorways named after the Queens teen — Brannan joked that Bistreich ought to “test the doors,” after which laughed about it with Gentile.
“It was Justin who perpetrated that,” he stated.
The incident was detailed within the go well with with out naming the staffer allegedly concerned. Bistreich stated his lawyer suggested him to call solely the worst actors within the grievance.
Brannan denied the allegations. “These allegations are merely not true. As somebody who supported Michael’s profession in authorities and even helped get him the job with the council member, I really feel betrayed and saddened by his feedback,” he stated.
“Michael is clearly getting used as a pawn by one of my political opponents to undercut my candidacy within the last days of the marketing campaign. They must be ashamed of themselves for taking benefit of Michael for their very own achieve.”
Stephanie Giovinco, Gentile’s constituent providers director, stated she was on the press convention however didn’t witness any derogatory feedback. Brannan “was mostly on his blackberry checking e-mails,” she stated. “Justin no way said anything like that.”
Bistreich stated he and Brannan have been associates earlier than they began working collectively — however stated his colleague mocked the literal fashion of considering related with his dysfunction by placing on a robotic voice when he left on the finish of the workday.
“He would put on a robotic voice and say, ‘It’s 5:30. I have to go now,’” he stated. “He knew that I had a disorder, but he would mock the way I thought anyway.”
The former staffer, whose go well with continues to be pending, stated he’s upset to see Brannan operating for his or her ex-boss’ seat, as Gentile campaigns for Brooklyn district lawyer.
“I feel it’s disgraceful and dishonest,” he stated.