A city worker tasked with helping homeless people has been arrested for sexually abusing them, the Department of Investigation announced Tuesday.
Clyde Johnson, 54, a Department of Homeless Services housing specialist, was hit with charges of sexual abuse and forcible touching for engaging in what DOI called “sexual misconduct” with residents at the Auburn Family Shelter in Brooklyn.
“This employee preyed on vulnerable New Yorkers: using his position to sexually exploit the very shelter residents whom he was supposed to assist, according to the charges,” DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said. “Disturbing sexual misconduct by a City employee is inexcusable and cannot be tolerated.”
Johnson allegedly abused two women, a 59-year-old and a 60-year-old in three places on four occasions — the shelter, an off-site address on Myrtle Ave. and on a moving city bus, according to a criminal complaint.
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Johnson, who has worked for DHS since July 2015 and earns about $57,916 a year, has been suspended by the agency for 30 days.
Because of union requirements, Johnson will be placed on modified duty following that suspension, an agency spokesman said. The city is filing agency charges against him and is seeking his firing.
“We have absolutely zero tolerance for this alleged behavior. We are in close collaboration with authorities and we are seeking this individual’s termination,” DHS spokesman Isaac McGinn said. “Ensuring a safe, supportive environment is our top priority as we help New Yorkers in need get back on their feet.”
Housing specialists are tasked with helping homeless people in city shelters find new places to live.
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Johnson was arrested late Monday and arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court Tuesday morning, where his bail was set at $8,000. Two orders of protection were issued on behalf of the victims.
Attempts to reach Johnson Tuesday were unsuccessful.
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CHRISTINA CARREGA, JILLIAN JORGENSEN