New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced his selections for school superintendents, and one name on the list, Roberto Padilla, slated to lead the Bronx’s District District 7, has sparked concern from parents and educators there. Padilla is currently a defendant in a lawsuit Berke-Weiss Law filed on behalf of our clients, two female educators, bringing claims of sexual harassment and retaliation.
As part of Padilla’s negotiated settlement with Newburgh, he was allowed to remain on payroll for two years, even after receiving this new job in NYC.
Padilla is accused by a former principal and teacher of making unwanted advances at a bar in San Diego during an educator’s conference last summer. The plaintiffs allege they were constructively discharged, and retaliated against in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law. The Newburgh School District and School Board are also named defendants.
News of his appointment by Mayor Adams brought consternation from people in the Bronx, a sentiment echoed by people in the Hudson Valley. NYC parents and advocates have been demanding to know why Padilla was hired for this position despite the pending lawsuit. Local news outlets have been looking into this issue since the Mayor’s announcement, including articles in the Gothamist, New York Daily News, New York Post, and News 12, which includes an interview with Senior Associate Alex Berke.