Essex County News

Former city employee alleges she was sexually assaulted by mayor's older brother

68f883be58d76e4fe4a4_queen1.jpg
Former City of Newark employee Dannisha Clyburn alleges that she was sexually assaulted by Obalaji Baraka, brother of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, in 2013. Credits: Dannisha Clyburn
68f883be58d76e4fe4a4_queen1.jpg

A former City of Newark employee has come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Obalaji Baraka, the older brother of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

Dannisha Clyburn, 38—known by many as Queen Hatari—claimed in an exclusive TAPinto Newark interview that she was touched inappropriately and without her consent by Obalaji Baraka in 2013. She claims he attempted to assault her again in 2015.

The allegations come on the heels of a December 9 Facebook video posted by Clyburn in which she addresses members of the Baraka administration, his family members and allies.

Sign Up for E-News

Clyburn, a Newark native, said on the video she was speaking for women and girls in the city who were afraid to speak out about what she called a pattern of inappropriate behavior.

“There are some other girls that are afraid,” Clyburn said in the Dec. 9 video. 

Later in the video, Clyburn addressed Newark Mayor Ras Baraka directly.

“Your brother Obalaji, he’s a whole other monster,” Clyburn said, referring to the mayor’s older brother Obalaji Baraka, who works in the city’s recreation department.

“Your brother, you better get him out of here," Clyburn said. "He is a predator. He is a menace to our city. And if you know, you taught us best. If you see something, you say something. I learned that from you, Ras Baraka. So I’ve seen something, I heard something and I’m saying something. I’m speaking for every person, every female, every male that can’t come forward and are afraid to come forward."

Frank Baraff, a spokesman for the city, did not respond to an email this afternoon. An attempt was made to contact Obablji Baraka through Facebook, but he did not respond.

Clyburn, who considered herself a close ally of Ras Baraka, said she campaigned heavily for him during his mayoral run in 2014 and was given a job in the city’s Health Department.

“I was a die-hard supporter of Ras Baraka,” Clyburn said. “I pulled down Shavar Jeffries posters. I was very loyal to these people.”

Clyburn alleges it was while she was volunteering as a security guard at then-Councilman Baraka's State of the South Ward address on Feb. 27, 2013 at Chancellor Avenue School that the first incident of sexual abuse occurred.

Clyburn alleged that during the event she was summoned into a dark room by Obalaji Baraka.

“He said, ‘I need you to do something for me',” Clyburn said, thinking she was needed to assist with something related to the event. “He pulls me into a room and says, ‘Come here,’ and he took his hand, digs in my pants and then licked his fingers. I was shocked.”

Clyburn alleges Obalaji Baraka attempted to assault her again in 2015 while she was attending a children's event at the JFK Recreation Center on W. Kinney Street. She alleges Obalaji Baraka called her away from the children she was with into a room for help. At the time, she was employed in the city's Health Department. She said she never told anyone about the incident because she was too scared to come forward.

The allegations come amid a growing movement of women who are coming forward to break their silence about sexual abuse at the hands of powerful men. 

Fox CEO Roger Ailes, television journalist Bill O'Reilly, Alabama senatorial candidate Ray Moore, U.S. Senator Al Franken and MSNBC "Today" host Matt Lauer are just some of the men who have been accused of sexual assault and predatory behavior.

Last week, Time magazine named the "Silence Breakers" as its 2017 Person of the Year in recognition of the many women who have come forward to report sexual abuse and harassment as part of an ever-growing #MeToo movement.

Since her video post last week, Clyburn claims she has received threats from Baraka supporters and allies on social media.

She also said that Baraka allies have been showing up regularly at the McDonald’s she manages, alleging that these visits are a form of intimidation.

Clyburn said she has received threats due to her association with Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, whom she met in 2015.

Chaneyfield Jenkins, at a December 4 pre-council meeting, addressed what she called an abuse of power by those in the Baraka administration.

“I’m not on Team Baraka for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons is their abuse of power,” Chaneyfield Jenkins said from the dais. “I cannot believe that any of my council colleagues... that none of these women haven’t come up to you and told you what they’ve had to go through as far as having to have sex to get a job or they’ve been abused or they've been talked about or they've been ridiculed.”

Chaneyfield Jenkins also said she has received threatening text messages from those aligned with the Baraka administration and reported them to the police department but that no action has yet been taken.

“I am putting the people of the City of Newark on notice,” Chaneyfield Jenkins said. “If any harm comes to my husband or I, I want you all to understand that I’ve put it on record officially today.”

Clyburn alleges that she has been offered her old job back at the city’s Health Department—the same job she was fired from twice for speaking out against what she refers to as unethical behavior she witnessed by some of her health department colleagues. She worked for the city from 2014 to 2016.

Although Clyburn said she is being bullied and harassed online and on the streets, she said she needs to speak out for those too afraid to come forward.

“I’m a mom, I’m a daughter, I don’t want to see other women and girls go through this,” she said.

Clyburn considers herself a part of the “hidden figures"—the face of what she said are far too many African-American women too afraid to report sexual abuse in the community.

“While the news has reported many high-profile people and celebrities coming forward lately to report their own experiences with sexual harassment and abuse, most of them do not represent the black and brown community,” she said. “There is a pervasive fear in our community. Sometimes you take your life in your hands if you come forward."

Clyburn is outspoken about her past—she spent time in prison—and said she has spent years turning her life around. She remains a member of a gang, though she calls herself a progressive gang member who wants to positively impact the city she loves.

Clyburn said she is proud of her advocacy work for the city's homeless population and has helped close to 500 people find jobs and secure I.D.'s. She is a familiar face at Newark’s Penn Station, where she visits regularly with the hundreds who call the busy train station home and volunteers at homeless shelters, warming centers and anywhere she sees a need.

She is also committed to speaking out on behalf of women and girls everywhere.

"I stand for my people and I love my city," Clyburn said. "My city is crying out for help, the victims of this abuse are crying out for help. The truth will be revealed. I'm not going anywhere until this is fixed. I won't be quiet anymore."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Nutley

Showers Expected During First Weekend of Summer in North Jersey

June 22, 2018

NEW YORK, NY -The first weekend of Summer in North Jersey will include a possibility of showers Saturday and Sunday according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Overnight, Friday into Saturday, the NWS predicts a 60% chance of precipitation after 3 a.m. of up to a quarter of an inch. During the day there is a 90% of rain of up to a half inch. There is a possibility of a thunderstorm as ...

Teen-involved Crashes Kill 10 People a Day Between Now and Labor Day

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - More than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver during the, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2016. AAA reports that the average of 10 people per day is a 14 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.

As school lets out for the summer, AAA stresses the importance of preparing and educating inexperienced teen drivers for ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_984ecc3b936a1ba5ae0c_kingsland_manor_nutley_nj

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Kingsland Manor, Nutley

Floral Design Class at Kingsland Manor

Education Home & Garden

Carousel_image_cdd5a076d511b3ea3f40_nutley_farmers_market_avatar

Sun, June 24, 9:00 AM

the building formerly known as Ciccolini Brothers, Nutley

JerseyFresh Nutley Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_5e177eaae57739064cd4_397f63ad2fb50392a776_29178074_2107642336134787_2638697507160326144_n

Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM

Totowa

MakerFest 2018

Education

Carousel_image_ce51c1baeec53a8dcdfb_st_huberts_logo

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Madison

Kids' Critter Camp

Education

Carousel_image_d0c426767002fcb5b9f5_mini_magick20180217-42116-1h05gfm

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, Little Falls

Yogi Berra Museum Summer Softball Camp

Education Health & Wellness Sports

Carousel_image_84a90ab7ab886a6c6979_lbi_sosc_june_25_2018_02

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Anthony Santomauro, North Caldwell

Legends Baseball “School’s Out Baseball Camp”

Education Health & Wellness Other Sports

Carousel_image_e752ddf907f15c564a87_mini_magick20180604-3930-10lbnus

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, Little Falls

Yogi Berra Museum Summer Softball Camp

Health & Wellness Sports

Nutley Public Schools Safety and Security Meeting Postponed to June 19

June 12, 2018

Dear Nutley Parents, Staff and Community Members,

In light of the upcoming Spring Festival on Thursday, June 14th, the district has made the decision to reschedule the Safety and Security Focus Group originally planned for this night. We encourage all opportunities for families to spend time enjoying all the Nutley community has to offer.  The weather forecast looks excellent and I ...

Joseph Dwyer approved as Coordinator of Social Studies K-12 for Nutley Public Schools

NUTLEY, NJ - Mr. Joseph Dwyer was approved as the Coordinator of Social Studies, K-12, for the Nutley Public Schools at the Board of Education meeting on May 21, 2018. He will begin his role on July 1, 2018.

Mr. Dwyer fills this role upon the retirement of Mr. Robert O’Dell, who has been with the district for 37 years. His retirement is effective June 30, 2018.

In his new role, Mr.

On3

World Economic Forum Declares Nutley's Modern Meadow 'Technology Pioneer'

June 21, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The World Economic Forum announced Nutley based Modern Meadow as one of the world's 61 most promising Technology Pioneers for 2018. Hundreds of companies were considered before the final list of 61 was announced.  Modern Meadow is a biofabrication company using collagen to create bioleather materials.

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers ...

Commissioner Evans Sees Medical School as Positive Force in Nutley's Future

NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley Revenue and Finance  Commissioner Tom Evans sees the opening of the medical school on Prism's On3 campus as a positive force for the township.

Nutley took a significant financial hit earlier this decade when long-time corporate resident Roche Pharmaceuticals announced plans to close their North American headquarters in the Essex County township to ...

SOMA Celebrates Pride with Painted Lampposts in South Orange and Crosswalks in Maplewood

June 22, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Earlier this month, Maplewood celebrated Pride by painting rainbow crosswalks outside of Town Hall at the intersection of Oakview Avenue and Valley Street, which were unveiled with a celebration and ribbon cutting on Thursday, June 6.

Inspired by the Maplewood crosswalks, on Thursday evening, June 21, South Orange recognized Pride month by having community ...

Proposed Ordinance Prohibits Vape Shops and Similar Businesses in Livingston

LIVINGSTON, NJ — A proposed ordinance amending the current zoning to prohibit “vape” shops and other such establishments from opening within Livingston’s business districts was unanimously passed on a first reading on Monday by the Livingston Township Council after hearing concerns from residents about a store called “Good Guy Vapes” being opened in the ...

NJ Native and Children Shot in Colorado Road Rage Incident: Child Dies

June 22, 2018

WESTMINSTER, COLORADO: A native of Colts Neck and her children were attacked in a road rage shooting that left her 13 year old son dead and both her and another child injured. A third child was able to run to safety.

Jeremy Webster, 23,  was charged with first degree murder, extreme indifference; three counts of attempted first-degree murder; three counts of first-degree assault with ...

Bernards Township Might Make Up Snow Days at End of Future School Years

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - If necessary, late-winter snow days could be made up at the end of future school years in Bernards Township.

The Board of Education at its meeting Monday night approved an agreement with the district educational association to allow excess school days to be made up at the end of the school year.

The move likely saves future spring breaks being eaten away by makeup ...

First Summer Weekend Entertainment Lineup for Long Beach Island and Stafford

June 22, 2018

LONG BEACH ISLAND – Here we are, it is the first "official" summer weekend.  This is this rundown on this weekend's entertainment lineup for Stafford and Long Beach.

Remember to be safe and use Uber or Lyft while out in the evenings.

 

Arlington, 1302 Long Beach Boulevard, Ship Bottom   

Matt Fisher, Friday 8 p.m.
Greg Warren, Sunday 6 ...

Long Beach Township's Tuesday Night Concert Series Kicks Off on June 26

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP - There will be concerts on Tuesday evenings at Bayview Park every Tuesday evening this summer. The concerts are from 7 to 9 p.m. 

Here is the Tuesday, Long Beach Township Concerts schedule:

Tuesday, June 26:  Mr. Lovejoy

Tuesday, July 3 Chris Fritz and The Impulsives presented by Barlow Buick GMC

Tuesday, July 10   Billy Walton Band ...

Nutley Police Department Blotter June 9 to 15, 2018

June 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Police Blotter is compiled each week by Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari of the Crime Intelligence Public Information Division of the Nutley Police Department.

Please note:  All parties placed under arrest have been assigned a court date and remain innocent until proven guilty of those charges at their respective hearing

Anyone who has information about any crimes can ...

How To Have One of the Toughest Parenting Talks

For parents, the most difficult conversations to have with our children are those bred by necessity. Such is the case with regards to discussion about differences between Good Touch and Bad Touch. A parenting dilemma is created when we must choose between teaching our children about danger in the world and risking their exposure to peril if we keep them naïve to its presence. In either case, ...

Therapy as Preventative Medicine for Couples

     In my years of practice, I have yet to treat a couple whose relationship was not on the precipice of ruin at the time of first contact. Their intakes are rife with blame, and subsequent sessions reveal neither partner understands his/her role in the dysfunctional dyad. Though not impossible, it is daunting work for any therapist to help rebuild relationships demolished by ...

Nutley Public Library Summer Reading Kick Off Party June 27

Register for Nutley Public Library's Summer Reading Program. For reading during the summer, receive weekly prizes and the chance to win big prizes (Nintendo Switch, gift cards, book bundles, etc....). Free for all ages, birth to teen. Register at: https://nutleypubliclibrary.beanstack.org/

June 2018 Programs at Nutley Public Library

Monday, June 4 Summer Reading Registration begins on-line.  Register on-line and stop-in to pick-up goodie bags.  Win big prizes and book bundles.  Last day to register is Saturday, July 31.

Tuesday, June 5, 12, 19, 26 at 1:00 p.m. – Play Bridge. No registration required.

Wednesday, June 6, 13, 20, 27 at 1:00 ...

This week at the Nutley Public Library May 22 - 30 2018

NUTLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY - Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, May 22, 29 - 1:00 pm - Play Bridge - No registration required.

Wednesday, May 23, 30 - 1:00 pm - Wednesday Afternoon Knitters - Come share your love of knitting and crocheting with both beginning and experienced knitters. Meet fellow knitters, brush-up on your skills, and learn some new techniques.

Nutley Sizzling Summer Concert to feature “Almost Easy” July 12

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci and the Department of Parks and Recreation are excited to announce a family event for music lovers everywhere to enjoy!   “Almost Easy” will take the stage on July 12, 2018for the Recreation Department’s Sizzling Summer Concert!  This concert will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at Memorial Park 1 (Mud Hole) located ...

Commissioner Tucci Opens Nutley Recreation Soccer Registration for Fall 2018

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announces that registration forms are currently available for Fall Recreation Soccer 2018.   The Nutley Recreation Soccer Program is open to Nutley youngsters in grades 1 through 8. 

This program is designed to assist young players in developing basic skills of the game while offering a fun, semi-competitive environment.  Recreation soccer is a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 22, 2018

TRENTON - Well, the state Legislature passed a budget yesterday. But that matters little in the overall drama, as it now goes to Gov. Phil Murphy and his sharp red pen. The governor still remains as odds with his Democratic counterparts who left a meeting with him yesterday claiming no progress. He's "completely dishonest with us," charges Senate President Steve Sweeney.

America's Celebrated Evolving Journey

June 17, 2018

This Fourth of July, the United States of America will celebrate its 242nd birthday since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Our Nation was conceived in liberty at its core. Together we the people, with ancestors from every part of the world, continue the struggle to live by its founding noble principles.  Namely that, “We hold these truths to be ...

The Power of Positive Engagement

To the Editor:

I wanted to share this letter from Laurie Beacham, Media Director for NJ 11th for Change, about the notable increase in voter turnout and citizens deciding to run in the recent primary election:

"The 11th Congressional District has a lot to be proud of. In the June 5th primaries, voter turnout climbed from almost 33,000 in 2014 to over 86,000. Democratic ...

Labor Unions Have Set Standards for Americans

To the Editor:

I want to alert every working American to a case now before the U.S. Supreme Court.  It is called “Janus vs. AFSCME” and it seeks to defund and cripple the same labor unions that, over decades, have raised every American’s standard of living.

Even if your workplace is not unionized, you can thank our American labor unions for locking in higher standards ...

Assembly Democratic Bill to Ensure Safety of Special Needs Students on School Buses Clears Assembly Panel 

June 22, 2018

TRENTON, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Reed Gusciora, Ralph Caputo and Andrew Zwicker to protect special needs students who ride school buses was released Monday by an Assembly panel. 

This bill (A-4332) would establish a minimum ratio of school bus aides to special needs students on a school bus.

Residents and Local Businesses can Impact Learning with Nutley Educational Foundation

The Nutley Educational Foundation is a volunteer, not for profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Nutley NJ.  NEF's goal is to create exceptional learning opportunities for Nutley students by funding programs and initiatives that fall outside the school budget.  Funding comes from a variety of sources including corporate donations, matching gifts, grants, small businesses, families ...

Rutgers Equine Science Center Annual Summer Showcase Scheduled for July 11

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The Equine Science Center at Rutgers University is hosting its annual "Summer Showcase" from 10 am to noon  on Wednesday, July 11 at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory on College Farm Road on the George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick. The Summer Showcase, similar to an open house, is a FREE event that is open to the public and perfect for any and ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

Obituaries

Jun 10, 1983 - Jun 17, 2018
Ryan M. Lucas, 35 Proud Marine Veteran and Nutley Firefighter Ryan M. Lucas, a lifelong ...
Read more
Sep 4, 1943 - Jun 10, 2018
William “Bill” Tangorra, 74, of Grand Rapids, Michigan passed away Sunday June 10, ...
Read more