Poly Prep school official took students to Cuba for an alcohol-fueled
trip complete with hookers, cigars: lawsuit
BY CHRISTINA CARREGA-WOODY , GINGER ADAMS OTIS NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, May 29, 2015, 12:25 PM A A A
A top official at Brooklyn's scandal-scarred Poly Prep Country Day
School took students on a "rite of passage" trip to Cuba complete with
hookers, cigars and plenty of drinking, according to a lawsuit filed
Employee Lisa Della Pietra, a former student who now raises money for
the elite prep school, said development director Steven Andersen "put
students in harm's way" and then tried to "buy his way out of it" with
In a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn state supreme court, Pietra claimed she
reported Andersen's shenanigans to the school's headmaster, David Harman.
But nothing was done beyond a "sham" investigation, Pietra said, and
Andersen, her boss, retaliated against her for making complaints.
According to court papers, Andersen "manufactured" an educational trip
to Cuba so he could check out a personal investment he told Pietra would
be his "nest egg."
Andersen allegedly paid a prostitute to entertain the students as a
"rite of passage," and drank and smoked Cuban cigars with the students,
Pietra's suit said.
When another alum of the school threatened to expose Andersen's behavior
upon return, the development director paid him a sum to buy his silence,
She also accused the school of colluding to cover up the accusations
against Andersen, and said the development director threatened his staff
to ensure their silence.
Pietra further alleges that when she reported Andersen's bullying and
inappropriateness to Poly Prep leaders, her boss got wind of it — and
then began bullying her.
"Andersen ... began a campaign of retaliation and bullying ... including
verbal rants and threats, stripping plaintiff of her job
responsibilities ..." the suit said.
In December 2012, Poly Prep Country Day School settled a landmark
lawsuit claiming its longtime football coach sexually abused hundreds of
boys over a 25-year period and that officials covered up the assaults
The explosive suit, filed in 2009, claimed officials at the Dyker
Heights prep school knew that coach Phil Foglietta was a sexual
predator, but ignored repeated complaints during his 25 years at the
school because they didn't want to jeopardize the institution's athletic
reputation and fund-raising efforts.
In her lawsuit filed Thursday, Pietra noted Andersen had coached
football alongside Foglietta for 20 years.
Calls to Poly Prep's headmaster's office for comment were not
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