NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – A city councilman has been accused of repeatedly exposing himself to a Democratic activist and using his influence to prevent her from getting grant writing work when she rebuffed his advances, according to a lawsuit the activist filed.
Glenn Fleming, a council member since 2012, made “various advances of a sexual nature” toward Juanita McKoy after they met for the first time on Nov. 26, 2016, according to lawsuit she filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on May 11.
The suit, which details three alleged incidents in which Fleming exposed himself to McKoy over a three-month period in early 2017, is seeking unspecified monetary damages for work lost when she was blocked from obtaining grant-writing jobs as well as punitive damages and reimbursement for legal fees.
McKoy, an elected committeewoman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization’s County Committee, and Fleming met through their mutual involvement in the Democratic Party and through working on Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign. She was a freelance grant writer for various non-profit organizations at the time.
The lawsuit also accuses Beatrice Moskowitz, the vice chairwoman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization (MCDO); Michelle Haas, partner in the law firm of Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas and legal counsel of MCDO and Reginald Johnson, President of NAACP’s Metuchen-Edison Area Branch, with not taking action to protect McKoy when she told them about the alleged incidents of sexual harassment.
“My client was treated with a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist and all the details will be coming out over the course of the case,” said Daryl Kipnis, McKoy’s Franklin-based attorney. “There’s no question in my mind that she's been damaged as a result of Mr. Fleming's conduct, which is absolutely horrific. And when she worked up the courage to speak with others to confide in them to try to see if there was any relief or help that she can find or support, she got the exact opposite, found yourself blackballed from grant writing work for saying anything, and he repeated threatened her.”
When contacted by TAPinto New Brunswick on Monday, Fleming said the lawsuit will not affect his work on the council. He said he plans to take part in tonight’s council meeting, which will be held via teleconferencing technology.
“I’m not really going to comment right now, but I will have a full story for you when the truth comes out of everything because I’ve been instructed not to comment on it because there’s many parties involved,” Fleming said.
According to the suit, Fleming made sexual advances toward her soon after they met and told her that he can “make things happen” for her grant writing career.
After they met at The Brown Stone Bar & Grill in Metuchen in January 2017, Fleming allegedly entered McKoy’s car, exposed himself and asked her, “What are you going to do about this?” He allegedly grabbed her hand, and she asked him to exit the car.
According to the suit, Fleming continued to pursue a relationship. He told McKoy, who is not married, that he was in the process of seeking a divorce.
McKoy allegedly allowed him to twice visit her home in Piscataway, where he made unwanted sexual advances toward her both times. The second time, McKoy’s son, David, witnessed Fleming with his pants off and a confrontation ensued.
Fleming also allegedly “made various threats” in an attempt to intimidate her from taking action against him. According to the suit, he told her it “would be best for both of us if you kept this quiet.”
The lawsuit states that although McKoy “confided” in high-ranking members Democratic-tied groups, she was eventually “slut-shamed” and did not receive any offers of grant writing work. She suspected that Fleming was behind it, according to the suit.
The New Jersey Democratic State Committee, Murphy for Governor, the NAACP’s Metuchen-Edison Area Branch and the Middlesex County Democratic Organization are also named as defendants in the suit.
The suit also names John Does 1-10 and ABC Corps 1-10 – fictitious persons and entities who identities are unknown to the plaintiff at this time but “are responsible for the plaintiff’s damages” – are also listed as defendants.
Kipnis was unsuccessful is his bid for the 12th Congressional District in 2018 when he ran as a Republican. He lost to Bonnie Watson Coleman by about a 2-to-1 margin.