Update August 21, 2013- The BPCA President, Demetrios Boutris, has “resigned”, after an internal investigation initiated by current and former BPCA employees accused Mr. Boutris, as well as other executives within the BPCA, of abusive behavior. Some staff alleged to investigators hired by the BPCA that Mr. Boutris used the “N-word” with African American staff.
An internal memo was sent to BPCA staff from Chairman Dennis Mehiel announcing the resignation. He also stated that the current CFO, Robert Serpico, will fill in as temporary President and COO as a search for a new President is ongoing.
BPCA spokesperson Matthew Monahan was unavailable for comment. The status of Anne Fenton is unknown.
Sources within the BPCA stated that both Mr. Monahan and Ms. Fenton were part of the same internal investigation, and hearings are underway now.
August 12, 2013- By Steven E. Greer, MD
BatteryPark.TV has exclusively learned that the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) President, Demetrios Boutris, is the target of an internal BPCA investigation relating to the handling of BPCA staff hiring, firing, promotions, and abuse of staff.
The investigation initiated when main office staff working in the World Financial Center office sent a complaint letter to the EEO officer, Allyson Ford, whom reporters to Chairman Mehiel. A private law firm with expertise in labor law was brought in to interview the staff.
According to a source who chose to remain anonymous, some of the allegations made by BPCA staff against Mr. Boutris are that he yells at them if they leave the WFC offices/ cubicles to interact with one another, he makes unannounced inspections of staff on the grounds, and criticizes security staff by the ballfields for their attire.
One of the most serious complaints alleged is that Mr. Boutris made a surprise inspection on some park conservancy staff on a Saturday and asked, “Who’s the head nigger here?”. It should be emphasized that the comment is alleged and we have no direct evidence to substantiate the claims.
BatteryPark.TV has previously reported that Chairman Mehiel has formed a special “Compensation Committee“, that many veteran BPCA employees were forced into retirement for unknown reasons contributing to the disrepair of the parks, a veteran parks staff in charge of the Irish Memorial quit in disgust, and that Executive VP of Operations, Anne Fenton, was promoted despite being a key figure in the obstruction of the opening of Asphalt Green.
No one at the BPCA was in the office on Monday to discuss the matter. Matthew Monahan and Anne Fenton were not at work, according to the main receptionist.
About Mr. Boutris, from the BPCA website:
President & Chief Operating Officer
DEMETRIOS A. BOUTRIS was, prior to his appointment to the Authority, the founder and President of Boutris Group, Inc., a business and policy advisement firm focused on key executive and decision-maker consultation, including business development, strategic planning, corporate governance, and risk management and consultation on large-scale real estate and transnational business projects.
Mr. Boutris was also Special Counsel to the CEO of AKT Investments, AKT Development and the affiliated group of companies forming a diversified family-owned land development group operating real estate, farming, ranching, water management, mineral extraction, building and related projects throughout North and Central California.
He is a corporate governance and regulatory expert, and has been a C-suite executive, or advised C-suite executives, throughout his private sector career and in government service.
Mr. Boutris’ private sector and public service former positions include:
Commissioner & CEO, Department of Corporations, California’s Investment & Financing Authority (Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles,San Diego);
Legal Affairs Secretary & Counsel to the Governor of California (Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco);
Corporate Vice President & Special Counsel to the Chairman of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings (New York, NY);
Executive Director & Associate General Counsel to the US Trade Representative, Executive, Office of the President (Washington, DC);
Corporate, Securities and Banking lawyer with international firms: White & Case (Los Angeles) and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco);
Corporate Director, Virgin Charter, (New York, NY, Los Angeles);
Corporate Director and Chairman, Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee, Wedbush Securities (Los Angeles).
Mr. Boutris has been active in civic organizations throughout his career and has been the recipient of numerous professional, service and community awards.He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the University of California, Berkeley (Economics, high honors; Phi Beta Kappa). He resides with his family in Manhattan.