A former psychiatrist for the city’s hospital system claims she suffered retaliation for complaining that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push to close Rikers Island “politicized” the mental-health evaluations of inmates.
In a $3 million whistleblower suit, Dr. Melissa Kaye says she was slapped with bogus disciplinary charges and demoted for warning “that inmates were potentially being released from jail in an expedited fashion and [in] circumvention of the procedures and law.”
Kaye, former medical director of the Bronx Forensic Psychiatry Court Clinic, alleges officials with the Health and Hospitals Corporation committed “ethical violations” and “malfeasance” in connection with exams used to determine if defendants are competent to stand trial. Those found incompetent are committed to the state Office of Mental Health for care.
Under de Blasio, “these examinations have become politicized . . . in an effort to get inmates off Rikers Island more quickly,” her Manhattan federal suit charges.