The high-ranking NYPD cop who retired in disgrace after being accused as a bigoted commenter on an infamous police forum allegedly slow-walked the harassment complaints from a narcotics captain, a new lawsuit claims.
Former Deputy Inspector James Kobel, personally reached out to Sharon Carolyn Balli and promised to handle her harassment complaint, the lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court says.
But Balli claims Kobel — the department’s commanding officer of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity — was “acting as a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and allowed for months of retaliation as he buried her complaints.
Balli, the first female Indian-Guyanese ever made captain and a retired Army major, says she was repeatedly asked about her sex life by Capt. Hariton Marachilian.
Marachilian allegedly “blatantly asked about Claimant’s and her husband’s sex life,” according to the notice of claim filed in August. He also remarked: “Do you have great sex?” and “You need to have more sex,” the claim says.
The captain previously told The Post she’s “been living six months of hell” while enduring the work retaliation in the department’s, which she described as a “boy’s club.”
On May 2, a day after Balli filed her sexual harassment, gender and sex discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Office, Kobel emailed her.
“I just wanted to let you know that my investigators brought me up to speed on your complaint,” Kobel wrote, the suit states. “We will certainly be in touch with you to conduct an interview and to gather additional information In the interim, if anything else should occur, please feel free to reach out to me and I will provide any assistance that I can.”
Kobel then allegedly told the targets of the complaint they had been accused of wrongdoing, breaking the department’s confidentially agreement, according to the suit.
Balli believes that led to months of more retaliatory harassment, the suit says.
At the same time, Kobel was allegedly posting hundreds of vile and racist remarks as the user “Clouseau” on the infamous cops forum “The Rant.”
“James Kobel was rewarded by the Police Commissioner with a promotion weeks after he tipped Balli’s harassers of her confidential sexual harassment complaint,” Balli’s attorney, John Scola, said. “Every single complaint of discrimination investigated by the NYPD while Kobel worked in EEO must be reopened.”
A spokesman for the department said: “The NYPD will decline comment on pending litigation.”