Women who worked for Mr. Rivera also have contended with crude remarks, frequent sexual innuendoes and, in one case, assault, according to records and interviews with dozens of former staff members.
For a time, an employee at the nonprofit named Danielle Dawson was romantically involved with Mr. Rivera until she broke it off, according to a police report and interviews with her co-workers. On Dec. 22, 2016, after the relationship had ended, Mr. Rivera approached Ms. Dawson in a shelter where she worked and demanded they have sex, according to the report she filed with the New York Police Department.
When Ms. Dawson refused, Mr. Rivera slapped her in the face and said “Nobody tells Daddy no,” according to the report. Then he forced her to give him oral sex. Ms. Dawson was willing to press charges, the report said, but it was unclear whether the police ever investigated the incident further. Mr. Rivera was never criminally charged.
The police department declined to answer questions about the allegation, but said the “N.Y.P.D. takes sexual assault and rape cases extremely seriously.”
After the incident, Mr. Rivera fired Ms. Dawson, prompting her to file a complaint with the state for unlawful discrimination, according to public records and interviews with her colleagues. But in November 2017, the nonprofit paid her $45,000 not to pursue it further, according to a settlement agreement obtained by The Times. It included a provision that prevented her from talking publicly about what had happened, said Brian Younger, a shelter security guard in whom she confided at the time.
The next year, in 2018, Flora Montes, an administrative assistant at the Bronx Parent Housing Network, accused Mr. Rivera of sexual harassment and unwanted touching, according to a complaint she filed with the state and a draft of a lawsuit reviewed by Times. She said he repeatedly leered down her shirt, told her she was sexy and stroked her hair and back.
As Ms. Montes was preparing to file a lawsuit in 2019, the nonprofit paid her a $130,000 settlement that included a nondisparagement clause barring her from publicly discussing Mr. Rivera’s conduct, according to records reviewed by The Times.