Former Suffolk police communication director alleges abuse of power

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The former communications director for the Suffolk County Police Department is intending to file a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination, retaliation and abuse of power by then-Deputy Police Commissioner Justin Meyers.

At a news conference Thursday with her attorney, Donna Jannine Schultz showed text messages purportedly from Justin Meyers that contain obscene language and what she considered threats to her job. He is currently the chief of staff for District Attorney Tim Sini.

“He was not shy about foul language and profane language when he spoke to Ms. Schultz and other employees, so it was systemic in terms of abuse,” says Schultz’s attorney Brendan Chao.

Schultz says she went into her supervisors in March to complain about those text messages and ask why she was still getting orders from Meyers. Chao says when word got back to Meyers about her complaint, she was terminated from her position.

Schultz also says that she brought up concerns that Meyers had misused taxpayer money during his time working as a deputy commissioner. She alleges while on the job, Meyers was campaigning for Sini in his bid for district attorney.

Meyers did not return phone calls or emails requesting comment for News 12.

County attorney Dennis Brown said in a statement, “This is a completely frivolous claim from a former employee who was terminated for cause." It was not immediately clear what that cause was.

Schultz says she just wants her job back.  

“I really feel this was retaliation…Everything I did for 21 months when I worked at that police department was always in the best interest of that department,” she said.

During the news conference, Schultz did acknowledge she has a prior misdemeanor conviction for accepting unemployment payments after she shouldn't have been. She said it was an oversight, and that she paid back the money.

She says the county and then-Commissioner Sini knew about it when she was hired.

Sini issued a statement saying: "The Notice of Claim is frivolous and replete with untrue assertions, which will be made clear if and when any lawsuit is filed."

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