The courthouse union boss who was under investigation over allegations of racial discrimination was once accused of referring to three black judges as “monkeys,” The Post has learned.
The claim is contained in a 2017 suit against Dennis Quirk – the longtime president of the New York State Court Officers Association – and the state court system that was later settled for $ 325,000, court records show.
The federal civil rights suit was filed by a Manhattan court officer, Lt. Angela Shirlaw, who alleged she was unfairly denied several promotions between 2010 and 2015.
Shirlaw said that as part of a successful 2008 bid to be promoted to lieutenant, she submitted “two or three recommendations from sitting judges she has worked with in support of her application.”
Quirk, who had allegedly planned to fill all the open lieutenants ‘jobs with men, later told Shirlaw that submitting the “f – king ruined everything” recommendation and instructed her “that she had better’ keep.” [her] mouth shut ‘and to not talk to any judge, ”the suit said.
“He then spoke in a derogatory manner about the female judges who had provided Lt. Shirlaw with recommendations, each of whom is an African-American woman, ”according to the suit.
“Officer Quirk described the judges to Lt. Shirlaw as ‘three monkeys’ and said they needed to ‘shut their f – king mouths,’ too. “
None of the judges were identified by name in the Manhattan federal court filing.
Last week, The Post exclusively revealed that state Chief Judge Janet DiFiore ordered an investigation into allegations by three black Brooklyn court officials that Quirk was a “safe haven for racist speech and actions” and that the officers “who have spoken out in racial inequality and brutality. have been retaliated against. “
Quirk, who has denied the allegations by Brooklyn court officials, also denied the claim that he referred to black judges as “monkeys.”
“I never said that comment,” he told The Post.
“I may have called a judge a hole, absolutely, but not a monkey.”
Quirk, who is white, also pointed to a 1994 incident in which he cursed at then-Manhattan Housing Court Judge Margaret Taylor over allegations she’d referred to black court officers as “gorillas.”
“I told her to go f – k herself,” he said.
Quirk was suspended for nine weeks and later apologized to Taylor, The Post reported in 1995.
One of the black court officials involved in that controversy, Gene Saunders, said Quirk “represented me on vocabulary occasions, throughout my career.”
“Based on my relationship with him, I don’t believe that he is a racist,” said Saunders, who retired last year.
In the 2018 settlement agreement, Quirk and the state Office of Court Administration each indicated to pay Shirlaw $ 162,500 on the provision that it “interpreted as an acknowledgment of the validity of any of the allegations or claims that have been made.” ”
Quirk signed the deal on behalf of both himself and the NYSCOA, which led for the past 46 years, and he was represented in the case by the union’s lawyer, Bruce Baron.
He said the settlement and Baron’s fees were covered by the union’s insurance.
An OCA spokesman issued a request for comment.