A contentious day in court for Greene, Street

Carl Greene, former executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, is suing the PHA over what he claims was his improper firing. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Carl Greene, former executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, is suing the PHA over what he claims was his improper firing. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 01, 2013

JOHN F. STREET, who had characterized former Philadelphia Housing Authority executive director Carl Greene as "a true serial sexual harasser" before firing him in September 2010, stuck to his guns under cross-examination Thursday in federal court, where Greene is suing PHA for wrongful termination and almost $1 million in lost salary and benefits.

Street said that during his time investigating Greene as PHA chairman, he read passages from a PHA investigative report containing statements from the women who had filed sexual-harassment cases against Greene. Street characterized the statements as "this is exactly what happened to me . . . this is where I was touched." Greene settled the cases without informing the PHA board.

Street said Greene's pattern of behavior outlined in those statements convinced him, as the investigative report stated, that the women "were mentally tortured, physically assaulted and professionally damaged at the hands of Carl Greene."

When Greene's attorney, Clifford Haines, asked Street if he was aware that one of the women, Melissa Shingles, filed sexual-harassment charges against Greene six months after being fired for "poor performance," Street fired back: "If she filed a complaint after she was fired for cause, why would you pay her $200,000?"

Seeking to discredit the PHA investigative report, Haines said it lacked documentation. Street said the report had two investigative documents attached. Haines said it did not.

Street's attorney, Steven J. Engelmyer, accused Haines of not telling the truth. Haines' face flushed brighter than his shocking-pink tie as he yelled at Engelmyer.

U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter intervened, saying, "Mr. Haines, your degree of sensitivity, being a trial lawyer, shocks me. Absolutely shocks me!"

Haines said, "I have a very thin skin [when] being accused of misrepresentation."

After a five-minute truce, hostilities resumed in more-civilized fashion. The trial continues Monday.


@DanGeringer

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