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Mayor Adams’ brother stepped into dispute over sex harass allegations against Timothy Pearson

Bernard Adams Mayor Executive director of mayoral security during event with his brother Mayor Eric Adams In the South Ozone Park section of Queens. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/for ϲʿֱ)
Luiz C. Ribeiro/for ϲʿֱ
Bernard Adams Mayor Executive director of mayoral security during event with his brother Mayor Eric Adams In the South Ozone Park section of Queens. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/for ϲʿֱ)

Tensions between top mayoral adviser Timothy Pearson and an NYPD chief who backed a sergeant now accusing Pearson of sexual harassment reached such a heated point in April 2023 that had to step in to try to play peacemaker.

Meanwhile, a tape obtained by the Daily News shows that Pearson, in a bid to  prevent staff defections amid his blowup with Deputy Chief Miltiadis “Milt” Marmara, went into damage control at a key April 12 staff meeting, suggesting .

City of New York Police Department Promotion Ceremony at Police Dept. Headqurters, 1 Police Plaza. Police officer Timothy Pearson was promoted from Lt. to Cpt.
City of New York Police Department Promotion Ceremony at Police Dept. Headqurters, 1 Police Plaza. Police officer Timothy Pearson was promoted from Lt. to Cpt.

Pearson also suggests on the tape Marmara had to go into career “purgatory” because he refused to apologize for the spat.

The April 11, 2023 argument is a central element of the sexual harassment lawsuit filed last week by retired NYPD Sgt. Roxanne Ludemann alleging Pearson inappropriately touched her, then engineered a retaliation campaign when she rebuffed his advances.

Marmara, who at the time worked for Pearson as commanding officer of Municipal Services Assessment, a mayoral unit that investigates the performance of city agencies, took sides with Ludemann, the lawsuit says.

Bernard Adams, who had two months earlier, spoke with Marmara in an effort to broker some kind of truce, according to a 90-minute recording of the April 12 meeting obtained by The News.

“He came out and talked to him directly, Bernard, came out and talked to him direct,” Pearson says in an April 12 meeting with staffers. “He had the opportunity. He told him what he had to do to rectify this and he chose not to do it.”

Retired NYPD Sgt. Roxanne Ludemann. (Courtesy of Roxanne Ludemann)
Retired NYPD Sgt. Roxanne Ludemann. (Courtesy of Roxanne Ludemann)

Later in the meeting, Pearson says, referring to Adams, “He came out here to talk to him and make sense to him. He shoulda got on the phone the same day —  ‘I did boo boo ba ba.’ I would have said every statement helps. [But] he continued to stir the s–t.”

Marmara left the unit after the Pearson argument and is now assigned to Patrol Borough Brooklyn North as executive officer.

After the argument with Pearson, Marmara got calls April 13 to go to the to be drug tested and, on April 14, from the commander of the NYPD that counsels cops to apparently check on him, sources familiar with the sequence said.

The two events coming so soon after the argument is questionable, said Ludemann’s lawyer John Scola.

“It’s a well known form of retaliation in the NYPD,” Scola said.

Lou La Pietra, Marmara’s lawyer, declined to comment. Marmara’s union president Chris Monahan also declined comment.

Pearson, who makes $244,000 a year, occupies a unique role in the administration. Though his salary comes from the , he has had his hands in the migrant crisis and seems to wield considerable influence in the NYPD.

Kayla Mamelak, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said due to pending litigation, “We cannot provide comment at this time. We will respond accordingly in court.”

Mayor Adams earlier in the week defended Pearson, saying he deserved due process, especially because, as a former cop, he was “in the Trade Center when the buildings collapsed” and saved many people.

An NYPD spokesman declined to reply to questions from The News.

Marmara, a 32-year veteran, was tapped in June 2022 to manage He selected Ludemann as his chief of staff. An account of his break with Pearson first emerged in Ludemann’s lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that Marmara urged Ludemann to file a complaint about Pearson’s conduct after the chief walked in on Pearson rubbing Ludemann’s arm during an office party on Dec. 1,  2022.

Ludemann declined to file out of concern for her career, but Marmara directed female staffers to avoid being alone with Pearson, the lawsuit said.

During the same period, Ludemann alleges, Pearson blocked her promotion to sergeant special assignment, a more lucrative post — triggering two arguments between Marmara and Pearson on March 25 and April 11, 2023.

Marmara came to Ludemann’s defense in pressing for the promotion, the lawsuit alleges.

During the April 11 argument, Marmara told Pearson he couldn’t work for him and wanted to go back to the NYPD, the lawsuit said. Pearson told him he was fired. Marmara exited the meeting and walked down the hall to consult Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks.

Pearson then told an aide to get NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey on the phone, the lawsuit said.

It was after that that Bernard Adams got involved.

In the April 12 staff meeting, which was called by Pearson to announce Marmara’s departure from the unit, Pearson is heard on tape suggesting the chief’s career was now in limbo because he refused to apologize.

“You go into purgatory. You do what you gotta do, but you leave it alone,” Pearson said, referring to Marmara.

“But you keep stirring s–t, you’re going to get s–t on you.”

Later in the discussion, Pearson said, again referring to Marmara, “You got a star and while you still got that star, shut up, take your medicine, move on, take your purgatory and then move on with your career.”

Pearson also tried to convince Ludemann and other cops upset that Marmara was leaving to remain in the unit.

“You’re all going to be jumping to be martyrs so to speak and jump out, let me tell you what happens — you gotta think about your career,” Pearson said. “Look before you cross the street … Don’t join me in jumping in that grave.”

He also invokes what it would mean to leave the mayoral unit — possible assignments in precincts in East New York and the north Bronx.

“You go back to the department, I don’t control your fate,” Pearson says, “When you decide to go over there, I don’t know what’s going to happen to you. You could be in the 75, you could be in the 47. I don’t know. Before you go jumping ship … be smart about it.

Scola says Pearson’s remarks could be construed as suggesting their careers would be damaged if they left.

“He’s saying if you follow this chief out, you’ll be demoted back to patrol,” Scola said. “She’s chief of staff in this sensitive unit which reports to the mayor. Basically he was saying if you follow the chief, your career is over and he was right. That’s what happened.”

Marmara’s reassignment to Patrol Borough Brooklyn North could be seen as a step down from command of the mayoral unit. He has not filed any internal complaints over the matter.

On Nov. 14, Marmara was interviewed by Internal Affairs for three hours and detailed his concerns about Pearson, The News previously reported.

Ludemann was moved out of MSA and transferred four times in six months, placed under investigation and herself interviewed by Internal Affairs on Aug. 16, the lawsuit states.

Fed up, she retired in December.

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