City security boss faces allegations of sexual, racial remarks in NY prisons

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The security boss for city jails has been faced with various allegations of sexual and racial remarks in New York prisons.

He was transferred from Sing Sing prison following allegations he made inappropriate sexual and racial comments to subordinates, according to interviews and records.

The new details about Ronald Brereton’s tenure as sergeant and captain at the prison in Westchester County come a day after an exclusive report on his retirement in 2018 amid an investigation into his conduct as superintendent of Lincoln Correctional Center on Central Park North.

In 2008, the state paid $20,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by state Correction Officer Hope Mickens, who alleged Brereton, then a sergeant, told her to hurry up or he would “slap her big fat a–,” court records show.

Four years later, memos to Department of Corrections and Community Supervision leadership documented a series of alleged racial and sexually charged comments made by Brereton to subordinates.

“You like your sausage black?” Brereton, 63, allegedly asked a veteran correction officer at Sing Sing.

Subordinates also submitted complaints claiming he warned underlings they could end up “collateral damage” and compared a correction officer under his command to fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

It was previously reported that Brereton was suspended and escorted out of Lincoln while facing a misconduct investigation alleging misappropriation of funds, abuse of authority and workplace retaliation.

In response to that article, Brereton, who is Black, claimed he was the victim of racism while working for the state prison system. He said a “good old boys club” targeted him after he sounded the alarm on their “widespread misconduct.”

As deputy commissioner of security operations for the city jails, Brereton is tasked with managing intelligence on inmates and ensuring the safety of detainees and staff.

Now-retired correction officer Jose Maldonado, 53, said Monday he wound up in Brereton’s crosshairs when they worked at Sing Sing in November 2012. He said Brereton asked him “You like your sausage black?” at a staff function.

“I’m heterosexual and Brereton was going around the prison saying I was gay and really degrading me,” said Maldonado, a 25-year prisons veteran who retired June 4. “He threatened my job. It was incredibly stressful and I ended up with PTSD.”

Maldonado complained to a lieutenant. Brereton barged into the office and warned the lieutenant about talking with Maldonado, according to a Nov. 30, 2012, memo the lieutenant wrote titled “unwelcome verbal harassment.”

About an hour later, Brereton called the lieutenant and said “You will be collateral damage,” according to the memo.

“The statement that I will be ‘collateral damage’ is unprofessional and taken as a form of intimidation,” the lieutenant wrote in the memo to Sing Sing superintendent Michael Capra.

A month later, on Dec. 14, 2012, the same lieutenant overheard Brereton talking loudly in an adjacent office, according to a memo from the lieutenant to Michael Washington, head of diversity for DOCCS. Brereton declared he was changing his religion to the Nation of Islam and was going to pray for all the “sinners” at Sing Sing, according to the memo.

Brereton also got in a tense, racially charged dispute with a correction officer, according to a separate memo.

The memos from the lieutenant and correction officer were provided on condition their names not be published because both still work in the prisons.

Brereton was later transferred to Edgecombe Correctional Facility.

The state prisons agency and city Correction Department have declined to share the outcome of internal investigations he faced.

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