Two Catskill firefighters have brought suit against the Village Fire Department and the Village Trustees, claiming that they have been deprived of basic Constitutional rights. They seek Federal court orders confirming their complaint and awarding them compensation for deprivations allegedly experienced at the hands of the defendants and for costs incurred in seeking justice.
Named as defendants in the action, filed last week in Northern district Federal court in Albany, are ten men who were officers of the volunteer fire company during 2005-06, along with the five men who served as Village Trustees during the period.
The plaintiffs are Joel Shanks and his father Rick Shanks. According to the complaint filed by their attorney, Evan Foulke of Goshen NY, they contend that they have incurred “humiliation and anguish” from being harassed, abused, threatened, stigmatized and shunned by fellow firefighters since late 2005. That treatment betokens an “ongoing, intentional policy and practice of punishing the plaintiffs for the exercise of their First Amendment rights’ [sic.] to free speech and to deter plaintiffs [and others] from exercise that right in the future.”
The deed that triggered this retaliation, the plaintiffs say, consisted of a report that went to Federal and State authorities in October 2005, alleging that Catskill’s fire company was rife with safety violations. Suspicion that he was the confidential report’s author, according to the plaintiffs, unleashed a campaign of verbal abuse (“scumbags,” “rat,” “troublemaker,” “piece of shit”), of “false and frivolous charges” against Joel Shanks, and of threats against Joel Shanks, as well as against his father, his brother Brian, and his closer fire company friends.
Unconstitutional conduct on the part of the Village Trustees, according to the plaintiffs, consisted of voting last March to suspend Joel Shanks from membership in the fire company. This decision, made without inviting him to be heard, purportedly violated the plaintiff’s 14th Amendment right to due process of law.
The case has not yet been assigned to a judge.
Text of the complaint is provided below.
Commentators on the case, or on other matters, are urged by the SeeingGreenekeeper to sign their offerings.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
JOEL SHANKS and RICKY SHANKS, Plaintiffs Index No.
VILLAGE OF CATSKILL BOARD OF TRUSTEES,
VILLAGE OF CATSKILL FIRE DEPT., VILLAGE OF DEMANDS TRIAL BY JURY
CATSKILL FIRE COMPANY INC., RANDY ORMEROD,
FLOYD PRINCE, JR., JACK ORMEROD SR.,
NEAL RUSSELL, JOHN DEES, JOHN DARLING 3RD,
JIM CHEWENS, STEVE SCHULTZ, HANK COONS,
RICK CHEWENS, HAROLD RIVENBURG, FOREST
COTTON, ANGELO W. AMATO, JOSEPH KOZLOSKI,
PAUL OVERBAUGH and VINCENT SEELEY,
Plaintiffs, JOEL SHANKS and RICKY SHANKS, by their attorneys, FOULKE LAW OFFICES, complaining of the defendants, alleges as follows:
1.At all times hereinafter mentioned, plaintiff, Joel Shanks (“Joel Shanks”), is an individual residing in the County of Greene, State of New York.
2. At all times hereinafter mentioned, plaintiff, Ricky Shanks (“Ricky Shanks”), is an individual residing in the County of Greene, State of New York.
3. At all times mentioned, the defendant Village of Catskill Board of Trustees is and was a municipal entity acting under color of state law located in the County of Greene and State of New York.
4. At all times hereinafter mentioned, defendants Village of Catskill Fire Dept. and Village of Catskill Fire Company Inc. (“Catskill Fire Company”) are municipalities and/or municipal agencies acting under color of state law located in the County of Greene, State of New York.
5. Defendant Randy Ormerod was at all times relevant to this action the Chief at the Catskill Fire Company in the Village of Catskill. Randy Ormerod is being sued in his individual capacity.
6. Defendant Floyd Prince Jr. was at all times relevant to this action the Assistant Chief at the Catskill Fire Company in the Village of Catskill. Prince is being sued in his individual capacity.
7. Defendant Jack Ormerod Sr. was at all time relevant to this action the 2nd Assistant Chief at the Catskill Firehouse in the Village of Catskill. Jack Ornerod Sr. is being sued in his individual capacity.
8. Defendant Neal Russell was at all times relevant to this action the Captain at the Catskill Fire Company in the Village of Catskill. Russell is being sued in his individual capacity.
9. Defendant John Dees was at all times relevant to this action the 2nd Lieutenant at the Catskill Fire Company in the Village of Catskill. Dees is being sued in his individual capacity.
10. Defendant John Darling 3rd was at all times relevant to this action the 1st Lieutenant at the Catskill Fire Company in the Village of Catskill. Darling is being sued in his individual capacity.
11. Defendant Fire Chair Person Jim Chewens was at all times relevant to this action the Fire Chair Person for the Village of Catskill/Village Trustee and a Board Member and Trustee of the Village of Catskill. Jim Chewens is being sued in his individual capacity.
12. Defendant Steve Schultz was at all times relevant to this action a Board Member of the Village of Catskill Fire Company . Schultz is being sued in his individual capacity.
13. Defendant Hank Coons was at all times relevant to this action a Board Member of the Village of Catskill Fire Company. Coons is being sued in his individual capacity.
14. Defendant Rick Chewens was at all times relevant to this action a Board Member of the Village of Catskill Fire Company. Rick Chewens is being sued in his individual capacity.
15. Defendant Forest Cotton was at all times relevant to this action a Board Member and Trustee of the Village of Catskill. Forest Cotton is being sued in his individual capacity.
16. Defendant Angelo W. Amato was at all times relevant to this action a Board Member and Trustee of the Village of Catskill. Angelo W. Amato is being sued in his individual capacity.
17. Defendant Joseph Kozloski was at all times relevant to this action a Board Member and Trustee of the Village of Catskill. Joseph Kozloski is being sued in his individual capacity.
18. Defendant Harold Rivenburg was at all times relevant to this action the President of the Village of Catskill Fire Company. Rivenburg is being sued in his individual capacity.
19. Defendant Paul Overbaugh was at all times relevant to this action a Board Member of the Catskill Fire Company. Overbaugh is being sued in his individual capacity
20. Defendant Vincent Seeley was at all times relevant to this action the President of the Village of Catskill. Seeley is being sued in his individual capacity.
21. At all tmes mentioned herein, defendants and each of them acted under color of state law.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
22. This is a civil action authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive damages to redress the deprivations, under the color of state law, of rights, privileges, and immunities secure to plaintiff by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Jurisdiction is conferred by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, and 2201. Plaintiffs also invoke this Court’s supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ claims under N.Y.S. Executive Law § 740.
23. This action is properly filed in the United States District Court forthe Northern District of New York, as authorized by 28 U.S.C. § 1391, inasmuch as jurisdiction of this action is not founded on diversity of citizenship, each claim arose within the Northern District of New York and the defendants’ principal place of business is located in the Northern District of New York.
STATEMENT OF CLAIMS
24. Since 2001, Joel Shanks, has been and continues to be a volunteer firefighter for the Village of Catskill and the Catskill Fire Department and, as such, an “employee” of said Village and Department within the meaning of Labor Law § 740(1)(a).
25. Since 1997, Ricky Shanks has been and continues to be a volunteer firefighter for the Village of Catskill and the Catskill Fire Department and, as such, an “employee” of said Village and Department within the meaning of Labor Law § 740(1)(a). He is a graduate of New York State’s Ladder Truck Operators Course and has more than six years experience as a ladder truck driver and over two years experience as Chief Driver of Catskill Fire Department’s 110 foot ladder truck. Ricky Shanks is Joel Shanks’ father.
26. On October 4, 2005, Joel Shanks reported to the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and the New York State Department of Labor, Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau (“PESH”) numerous safety violations committed by the Catskill Fire Company. These reported safety violations included outdated aerial ladder inspection, lack of safety equipment, firefighters with facial hair wearing “SCBA’s”, outdated equipment, lack of training and standards and failure to follow OSHA standards. The online OSHA complaint form used by Joel Shanks is attached as Exhibit A.
27. Also on or about October 4, 2005, defendant Randy Ormerod stood up at a monthly meeting and told the firefighters at the Catskill Firehouse to keep their mouths shut and mind their own business. Defendant Jim Chewens then stood up and stated that when they (the defendants) found out who “was trying to start problems” they were “going to take care of business”.
28. On or about October 26, 2006 defendant John Dees approached Joel Shanks at a PESH audit/investigation and told Joel Shanks, “someone turned us into the board of health, one of our own”. He then stated that when they (the defendant’s) found out who made the complaints they were “going to throw them out”.
29. In or about October, 2005, while attending a funeral for a fireman in Cairo, New York, defendant Randy Ormerod stated to firemen and civilians that if he ever became a paid Village Fire Chief “the first thing he would do is throw out the scumbag Shanks’ boys”.
30. In October 2005, defendants repeatedly refused to issue firefighter shields for plaintiffs’ helmets while providing such shields to other firefighters.
31. Since October, 2005, defendant Jack Ormerod has refused to place Joel Shanks, Brian Shanks, Rick Shanks and Tom Birk on the Fire Department website list of members.
32. Since November 2005, defendant Randy Ormerod has refused to qualify both Joel Shanks and Ricky Shanks as a drivers on the ladder truck even though both Joel Shanks and Ricky Shanks took the road test and passed several times.
33. From about November 1, 2005 to March 14 2006, defendants Hank Coon and Harold Rivenburg frequently stated that they were in the process of creating a disharmony law in order to “throw out” anyone who caused disharmony at the Catskill Firehouse by “turning them in”.
34. From November 1, 2005 to March 14, 2006, during monthly Fire Company meetings, firefighters, including the defendants, would advise anyone who did not like the way the department was run to quit and described what they were going to do if they found out who turned them in.
35. On December 13, 2005, Joel Shanks e-mailed PESH concerning harassment by defendants. A copy of this e-mail is attached as Exhibit B.
36. On January 20, 2006, Joel Shanks mailed PESH a formal harassment complaint. A copy of this complaint is attached as Exhibit C.
37. In January 2006, Ricky Shanks submitted to PESH a complaint about safety violations at the Catskill Firehouse. These reported safety violations included vehicle maintenance, operator qualifications, un-repaired equipment, falsification of paper work/reports and outdated aerial ladder inspection. A copy of this complaint is attached as Exhibit D.
38. All or some of the aforementioned reports, complaints and information provided by plaintiffs to OSHA and PESH involved matters of public concern and dangers to public health and safety, including, but not limited to activities, policies and/or practices of the Village of Catskill and the Catskill Fire Department that are/were in violation of law, rule or regulation which violation(s) create(d) and present(d) substantial and specific dangers to the public health or safety, and plaintiffs’ acts of providing such reports and information constituted speech protected by the First Amendment and N.Y.S. Executive Law § 740.
39. In retaliation against plaintiffs for their having exercised their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech by providing the aforementioned reports, complaints and information to OSHA and PESH, and for the purpose of deterring plaintiffs and others from providing such information in the future, defendant Catskill Fire Company, with the assistance and cooperation of the defendants Randy Ormerod, Floyd Prince Jr., Jack Ormerod Sr., Neal Russell, John Dees, John Darling 3rd , Jim Chewens, Steve Schultz, Hank Coons, Rick Chewens, Harold Rivenburg, Paul Overbaugh and Vincent Seeley, continued to threaten, harass, intimidate and punish plaintiff by engaging in the following.
40. Since January of 2006, defendants have carried out a persistent policy, practice and course of conduct designed to ostracize plaintiffs from any meaningful participation in Catskill Firehouse activities and events.
41. In January 2006 at a fire company meeting, defendants Vincent Seeley, Randy Ormerod and Jim Chewens and Harold Rivenburg all threatened and/or affirmed that they were going to punish whoever made the safety complaints while staring directly at plaintiff Joel Shanks.
42. On or about January 10, 2006, defendant Second Assistant Chief Jack Ormerod conspired with Probe Firefighter Craig Turczyn to trump up false charges against Ricky Shanks to the effect that Ricky Shanks had violated safety procedures in responding to a fire call.
43. On a daily basis since January, 2006, the defendants and volunteer firefighters have cursed, yelled, threatened, and harassed plaintiffs with statements such as, “The Shanks are fucking rats and are going to get their asses kicked,” “If the scumbags don’t like it here they should leave!”, “Their turn is coming”, “Why did Joel do this, he is never going to hold any office in this company now!” and “If Joel ever says anything about me I will beat the shit out of him.”
44. Defendants have continuously tolerated, permitted and encouraged other firefighters to make derogatory comments toward plaintiffs at company sponsored breakfasts.
45. Plaintiffs have been called scumbags, troublemakers, disgruntled and “pieces of shit”, among other things. Plaintiffs are often glared at and subjected to veiled comments. Firefighters often cease talking whenever plaintiffs are in their presence. When plaintiffs approach firefighters, firefighters will get up and walk away and otherwise ostracize them from participation. Line officers and chiefs ignore plaintiffs and refuse to talk to plaintiffs or to give them meaningful work and orders.
46. Catskill Fire Company officers, with the intent to humiliate and belittle plaintiffs, require that plaintiffs perform menial tasks typically assigned to probes or less qualified firefighters. Because of the Catskill Firehouse’s refusal to permit plaintiffs to participate meaningfully as firefighters, plaintiffs have often found themselves standing around at fire scenes and not properly utilized unless absolutely necessary.
47. Defendants and voluntary firefighters at the Catskill Firehouse have labeled Joel Shanks, Ricky Shanks, Brian Shanks, Tom Birk, and George Lackie “rats”, “scumbags”, “trouble makers”, “pieces of shit Shank boys”, and “disgruntled firemen”. This would take place when the plaintiffs would walk into a room full of fellow firefighters during monthly meetings, drills, alarms and fundraisers and when the defendants would refer to the plaintiffs amongst line officers while giving out tasks at fire calls.
48. Defendant Neal Russell would assign Joel Shanks tasks which were normally assigned to probationary firefighters or less skilled firefighters. Joel Shanks was ordered to direct traffic at “jaws” calls even though he was certified on the “jaws” and other firefighters were not. At a different auto accident plaintiff Joel Shanks was attempting to help EMS crews place a patient on a back board when Captain Russell advised him to “go sit in Engine 3-21 and stay there!”
49. From about January 2006 to March 14, 2006, defendant Steve Schultz would often call plaintiff a “rat” and a “scumbag” at Sunday morning breakfasts. Fire Department leaders, including defendants, would listen to the verbal harassment and allow it to continue.
50. In January 2006, defendant Seeley stated that he was going to find out who turned in the Village and “they were going to have hell to pay”.
51. In about February 2006 , defendant John Darling 3rd told Mike O’Connell, a firefighter at the Catskill Firehouse and friend of Joel Shanks, that he was not to mark Joel Shanks off on attended alarms and if he did he would be thrown out of the Department.
52. In February, 2006, defendant Rick Chewens, while in a Rite Aid in Catskill, NY, told Joel Shanks’ girlfriend’s co-workers that Joel Shanks ruined the Fire Department.
53. On February 16, 2006 defendant John Dees told Joel Shanks that he had to wear a new shield on his helmet. When Joel Shanks pointed out that three other helmets had the wrong shields on them, John Dees began cursing at Joel Shanks in front of others including defendants John Darling and Harold Rivenburg, who laughed at Joel Shanks. John Dees stated to Joel Shanks that he was nothing but a troublemaker and he should “report him to the village or PESH”.
54. On March 2, 2006 Joel Shanks received a letter stating he had to appear in front of the Board of Directors of the Catskill Fire Company in regard to his helmet shield. A copy of this letter is attached as Exhibit E.
55. On or about March 1, 2006, firefighter Mike O’Connell heard other firefighters state that Joel Shanks was going to be “thrown out” of the Catskill Firehouse because of the helmet shield incident. Defendant Harold Rivenburg told. O’Connell that if he told Joel Shanks about what he had heard he would be kicked out of the Catskill Firehouse.
56. On March 13, 2006, at a meeting of the Village Board of the Village of Catskill, the Trustees unanimously carried a motion to place Joel Shanks on administrative leave from the Fire Company pending completion of investigation of his allegations of being harassed and not feeling safe. A copy of the Minutes of the March 13, 2006, Village Board Meeting is attached as Exhibit F.
57. The aforementioned action by the Village of Catskill Board of Trustees at its March 13, 2006, meeting suspending Joel Shanks was taken without serving Joel Shanks with any Notice of Charge and without providing him with any opportunity to respond. This failure to give Joel Shanks an opportunity to contest his being placed on administrative leave was in violation of the Catskill Fire Company Bi-laws.
58. By letter from the President of the Village Board dated March 14, 2006 (attached as Exhibit G), Joel Shanks was put on notice that he had been suspended and that such suspension was “effective immediately”. The letter further advised Joel Shanks that he was to “not participate in any fire company or firematic activity until further notice”, and that he was being “removed from the active firefighters list for the Catskill Fire Department/Company. . .” Although said letter stated that a letter would be forthcoming outlining the next steps and a proposed meeting to date, no such “forthcoming” letter was ever sent.
59. Since March 14, 2006, firefighters from the Catskill Firehouse routinely give Joel Shanks the finger when they drive past him.
60. On or about March 27, 2006, defendants Randy Ormerod and Jim Chewens advised all other firefighters that if Joel Shanks was to step foot in the Catskill Firehouse they were to call the cops and have Joel Shanks arrested.
61. On May 16, 2006, at the Catskill Westside Station on 1 Central Ave., Catskill, New York 12414, defendants Jim Chewens, Randy Ormerod, and Vincent Seeley held a meeting about Joel Shanks. They advised firefighters that if Joel Shanks showed up at the firehouse he was to be arrested. Defendant Randy Ormerod stated he would like to see plaintiffs “disappear from the face of the earth”, and his goal before his Chief term ended was “to get rid of the last two Shanks”. Joel Shanks was banned from playing on the firehouse softball team.
62. On May 28, 2006 a volunteer firefighter at the Catskill Firehouse named Richie Overbaugh parked in front of Joel Shanks’ home and then drove slowly around his home.
63. On May 29, 2006, Richie Overbaugh and several other volunteer firefighters confronted Mike O’Connell and told him that he was not allowed to hang out with “that scumbag”, referring to Joel Shanks, and if he continued to he would “get kicked out” or have his “probation extended”.
64. On May 31, 2006, during a fire call to Broad Street, Ricky Shanks was verbally attacked, yelled at and screamed at by firefighter Richie Overbaugh. Ricky Shanks was subsequently brought up on false and frivolous charges arising out of the Broad Street fire call which were later dismissed for lack of evidence.
65. On or about June 1, 2006, firefighter Craig Turczyn told Ricky Shanks that “we know who made the OSHA complaints and we are going to kick them out”. Turczyn also made the statements “we’re going to kick their ass” and “we are going to take care of them!”
66. On June 3, 2006 Mike O’Connell received a phone call and was told that “the firehouse people were going to kick Ricky Shanks, Brain Shanks and Joel Shanks ass”. A few minutes later firefighter Richie Overbaugh appeared outside of Joel Shanks’ house in his truck.
67. On June 11, 2006, defendant Floyd Prince Jr. called Mike O’Connell and told O’Connell that “he hates the Shanks and that he is going to kill the Shanks”.
68. On June 14, 2006, Joel Shanks drove onto the Catskill Firehouse premises. After he pulled up, defendant Randy Ormerod called the police. After Catskill Police Officer Dave Deyo arrived at the Firehouse, they both approached Joel Shanks’ truck and told him he was not allowed on the premises due to his administrative leave. Defendant Randy Ormerod then told Joel Shanks that if he did not leave the firehouse parking lot, he would be arrested for trespassing. Joel Shanks requested a document proving that he was not allowed to be on the property and Ormerod and Deyo told Joel Shanks to “take it up” with defendant Vincent Seeley.
69. On July 4, 2006 Joel Shanks heard motorcycles pull up to his house and heard someone yell “fuck you scumbag”. When Joel Shanks looked out of his window he saw Catskill Fire Company firefighters Richie Overbaugh, John Dees, and Paul Overbaugh revving their engines and yelling. 70. On August 1, 2006, Paul Ormerod Jr. drove the Catskill Fire
Company ladder truck past the plaintiffs’ house on Scenic Drive after an alarm and yelled “Fuck You” and “Loser” at Joel Shanks.
71. On or about March 2005 after a small electrical fire had broken out at Ricky Shanks’ residence, Randy Ormerod told several firefighters at the firehouse bar that he wished plaintiff’s house had burned to the ground. When Randy Ormerod dispatched the call to plaintiff’s residence, he stated on the radio that it was the “Shanks’ house”. Hardly anyone showed up to the scene to render assistance. Only six members came to the house for the alarm. Normally structure fire alarms have over twenty men respond.
72. In or about August 2006, firefighter Craig Turczyn, in a threatening manner, stated to Ricky Shanks “as soon as we find out who is making the complaints we are going to beat the fuck out of him!”, “he’s done, he’s going to get the shit kicked out of him”, and “he’s done for”.
73. On September 30, 2006, at the Hill Street fire scene, Jack Ormerod selected Ricky Shanks out of approximately 65 firefighters to perform the menial task of carrying coffee, hot chocolate, and cups from one side of the fire scene across to the other. Such tasks are typically assigned to inexperienced firefighters or probes. President Vincent Seeley and Vice President Jim Chewens were standing on the other end of the street mocking Ricky Shanks as he carried drinks to the firefighters.
74. On or about October 14, 2006, Joel Shanks received a form letter from the Fire Company Banquet Committee (Exhibit H) inviting him and a guest to the Fire Company’s annual banquet. He filled out the RSVP on the form letter and sent it back. On November 3, 2006, defendant Harold Rivenburgh told Joel Shanks from a telephone at the Police Department that if he, Shanks, showed up at the banquet they were going to have the State Police arrest him. By letter from Rivenburgh dated November 2, 2006 (Exhibit I), this threat was confirmed in writing.
75. Defendant Jack Ormerod intentionally omits and refuses to name plaintiffs as firefighters on the Fire Department’s website list of members.
76. Firefighters who befriend or speak with plaintiffs have been told and instructed not to communicate with plaintiffs and have had their careers threatened.
77. All of the foregoing actions were conducted against Joel Shanks and Ricky Shanks in direct retaliation for their expressions of safety concerns to the Catskill Fire Company and to PESH and OSHA.
78. As a result of the unconstitutional conduct of the defendants as set forth above, plaintiffs have been stigmatized and caused to suffer humiliation and anguish.
79. The acts of defendants as set forth above constitute an ongoing, intentional policy and practice of punishing plaintiffs for the exercise of their First Amendment rights’ to free speech and to deter plaintiffs and other members of the Catskill Fire Company from exercising that right in the future.
80. The conduct of the defendants as set forth above has had, and continues to have, an objective chilling effect upon plaintiffs’ exercise of their First Amendment rights to free speech, in that a reasonable person in plaintiffs’ positions would perceive the defendants’ conduct as a threat of further punishment if he or she in the future reported wrongdoing committed by Catskill Fire Company officials and employees.
81. By virtue of the chilling effect which the aforementioned conduct and policy has had, and continues to have, upon plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, as well as the First Amendment rights of all members of the Catskill Fire Department, plaintiffs have been and continue to be irreparably injured and will suffer further irreparable injury if the defendants’ conduct is not declared to be unconstitutional.
82. In addition to the foregoing First Amendment violations, the defendants’ conduct has been arbitrary and capricious and has deprived plaintiffs of their rights to Due Process and Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.
83. The unconstitutional conduct of the individual defendants as set forth above was performed in bad faith and with a deliberate indifference to plaintiffs’ constitutional rights rendering these defendants liable for punitive damages.
84. In addition to the aforementioned constitutional violations, the defendants’ conduct constitutes an ongoing series of violations the plaintiffs’ rights under N.Y.S. Executive Law § 740.
WHEREFORE, plaintiffs ask this Court to:
A. Issue an order adjudging and declaring that the defendants’conduct violated, and continues to violate, plaintiffs’ rights to freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution;
B. Issue an order adjudging and declaring that the defendants’ conduct violated plaintiffs’ rights to due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution;
C. Issue an order adjudging and declaring that the defendants’ conduct violated plaintiffs’ rights to equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution;
D. Issue an order adjudging and declaring that the defendants’ conduct violated plaintiffs’ rights under N.Y.S. Executive Law § 740;
E. Issue an order directing that the defendants expunge from plaintiffs’ personnel files any references to the complaints against the plaintiffs that are referenced in this action;
F. Award plaintiffs compensatory damages against the defendants;
G. Award plaintiffs punitive damages against the individual defendants;
H. Award plaintiffs the costs and disbursements of this action;
I. Award plaintiffs reasonable attorney fees; and
J. Grant plaintiffs such further and other relief as to this Court may seem just andproper.