Pistons assistant GM Rob Murphy on leave after investigation into an allegation of workplace misconduct

 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 3:59 pm    Post subject: Pistons assistant GM Rob Murphy on leave after investigation into an allegation of workplace misconduct

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Detroit Pistons assistant general manager Rob Murphy is on leave after the organization commenced an investigation into an allegation of workplace misconduct involving a former female employee, sources told ESPN on Thursday night.
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2023 2:10 pm    Post subject:

https://nba.nbcsports.com/2023/05/05/pistons-former-assistant-gm-murphy-named-in-sex-harassment-lawsuit/

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Pistons, former assistant GM Murphy named in sex harassment lawsuit


DETROIT (AP) — A female former employee of the Detroit Pistons has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the team and its now-fired assistant general manager.

The Pistons announced Thursday that Rob Murphy “no longer works for the Detroit Pistons or Motor City Cruise, in any capacity.”

“Mr. Murphy was recently terminated for violation of company policy and the terms of his employment agreement,” the team said in a statement. “The facts that gave rise to his termination surfaced during a review, assisted by a national law firm, of allegations made by a former employee.”

The team said Murphy was placed on leave immediately after the allegations surfaced and did not return to the workplace before his termination.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit. It alleges that after Murphy persuaded the woman to take an entry-level position in 2021, he became her supervisor. She worked as his executive assistant.

Murphy made sexual comments about her body, repeatedly pressured her to engage in a sexual relationship with him, groped her buttocks and breasts and promised professional and personal advancement if she acquiesced to his demands, according to the lawsuit.


She “consistently and unequivocally rejected Murphy’s sexual advances, employing tactics to discourage him and avoid future harassment,” the lawsuit said, adding that Murphy groomed her, “periodically apologizing for his improper conduct and resuming the role of mentor and professional adviser, sometimes for weeks at a time.”

The woman, 32, left the Pistons in June 2022.

The lawsuit filed by Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni & Rivers PC is seeking an order that awards the woman economic and emotional damages, as well interest, costs and expenses.

The Pistons said they would have no further details on Murphy’s firing because it was a personnel matter.

The Associated Press was attempting Thursday to reach Murphy for comment.

Murphy was hired by the Pistons in 2021 as senior director of player personnel. He was promoted to assistant general manager and president of the Motor City Cruise, the Pistons’ G League-affiliate.

Murphy previously was the men’s head basketball coach at Eastern Michigan University. He also was an assistant coach at Syracuse and Kent State.
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2023 10:13 pm    Post subject:

Ugh, what a revolting human being.
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2023 7:14 am    Post subject:

I find it interesting her identity is revealed.. (interview is in the link)

https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/detroit-pistons-fire-assistant-gm-rob-murphy-after-claims-of-sexual-harassment-and-assault-by-former-employee

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Detroit Pistons fire assistant GM Rob Murphy after claims of sexual harassment and assault by former employee



Accuser in Pistons sex scandal shares her story of assault, harassment
DeJanai "DJay" Raska thought she had landed a dream job with the Detroit Pistons - until she said assistant General Manager Rob Murphy sexually assaulted and harassed her. It took six months since he was suspended but now he's been fired and she's sharing her story.

DETROIT (FOX 2) - It's been six months since the Detroit Pistons suspended assistant general manager Rob Murphy following misconduct claims from a female employee. Late Wednesday night, Murphy was fired. Now, the woman who came forward, says it was more than misconduct – it was sexual harassment and assault.

DeJanai "DJay" Raska is that now-former employee. She said to work for her hometown NBA team was a dream.

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"Growing up in the city, really looking up to the Pistons - ‘the Bad Boys’," Raska said. "To have this opportunity with the Pistons was like a dream come true for me."

But the dream didn't last, and now she's living the bad dream over and over.

"I feel like it was like a nightmare happened. And then being treated this way is heartbreaking," she said. "I can't even watch basketball."

The reason, she says, is Murphy – the now fired assistant general manager. The team said late Wednesday night that Murphy was terminated for violating company policy and terms of his employment agreement.

Raska says Murphy has made basketball, to her, synonymous with sexual harassment and assault.

"Rob attempted to force me to have sex with him, and that's something hard to talk about," Raska said.

The 32-year-old mom is a former realtor with a big heart. We first met her four years ago. In 2019, Raska was collecting prom dresses for girls who couldn't afford to buy their own.

"We just want to help any girl in any neighborhood – any high school – who needs a prom dress," she told us at the time.

She went on to be a project manager, representing local rappers, actors, and athletes. That's how she was connected to the Pistons.

"I came across the Pistons when I wanted to have one of my players who I was managing try out for the G League team," Raska said.

Through a mutual friend, she reached out to Murphy on Instagram. At the time, he was the president and general manager of the Motor City Cruise – the NBA's G League development team. Murphy is a former coach at Eastern Michigan University, a star athlete at Mumford High, and an incredibly successful figure from humble beginnings in the D.


Djay Raska says she was sexually harassed and assaulted by a manager of the Pistons front office. Now, he's been fired and she's suing.
The two struck up an instant friendship.

"He was just like, come in – come check it out," she said. "Once we did that, he said 'you seem pretty together. I'm looking for - we have an executive assistant position here for the G League. Is that something that you may be interested in?'"

Raska was definitely interested and ecstatic. She still wanted to represent athletes, and now she'd get a chance to see the inner workings of a sport and team she loved.

She took the job and started in September 2021. She says Murphy told her to quit her other jobs because this one required her to be all-in.

"I felt like this person believed in me," Raska said.

Instead of booking flights, answering emails, or setting up meetings – this executive assistant says she became Murphy's personal assistant. She said one of her assignments was to pick up his teenage son, every day, from school. She's a single mom with a child of her own and says she was put in charge of her boss's son.

"To make it my full responsibility and my only responsibility – that's a 45-minute drive every day of dropping someone else's child off – being responsible for a teenager that I wasn't ready to be responsible for," Raska said.

She also said that, when Murphy was out of town on scouting trips, he asked her to stay at his house.

"I actually cared about this kid. His dad wasn't around, his mom was out of state, and so to be there with him so he wouldn't be there alone was a huge deal," she said.

So why did she stay? Because she had a family of her own to support.

"Because I did give my other positions away – my other careers away – I have to support my daughter and I have to keep this roof over our heads. So if (all) you want me to do is pick up your son and take care of your son, I'm going to do it."

Raska said she felt humiliated.

"It was just kind of like I was turned into a personal assistant/nanny and I was also called a couple of times ‘the driver’ by his son and his friends," Raska said.

And they weren't the only ones insulting her. She said Murphy would be likable and supportive while giving career advice one day – and then belittling her the next.

"He made statements not only to myself but to another colleague about me - that HR didn't want me there, nobody wanted me there," she said. "My job was going to be given to a person that had a higher education than I did - that HR thought I was 'ghetto'. And that without him, I wouldn't have the position."

Raska says she felt isolated and the one and only time human resources had ever approached her, was to admonish her for her outfit.

"I was told quote 'you look like you're going to a club' by HR. 'You look like you're about to go clubbing'," Raska said.

Raska says she knew she couldn't go to human resources with her concerns about Murphy

"It was definitely the verbal first, and then it led to the physical," she said.

Some of the physical stuff happened at the practice facility and at his house.

"He grabbed - right in front of my daughter - he grabbed my breast area and grabbed my crotch area and said ‘this is going to be mine one day’," she said.

Even then, she says, she couldn't tell HR

"My main concern and fear (was) that I would be fired, without a doubt, fired and silenced," she said.

What was happening, Raska says, was way worse than she could have imagined. Remember, she was assigned to stay overnight while Murphy was out of town.

"He had came home at a time when he said he was going to be out of town and things had escalated into a space where I was extremely uncomfortable," she said. "We were standing there in the doorway of his office and he grabbed me and he kissed me on the mouth and he was like ‘hey do you want to sneak downstairs’. I'm just like 'no I'm okay, I'm good Rob.' I definitely don't want to do that. And he was like - I want to put a baby inside you."

Raska said she locked herself in another bedroom and left early the next day. She repeatedly told him she wasn't interested, but she remained assigned to stay with his son. But again, he showed up unexpected.

"He tried to force me to engage in sex with him at his house and it was forceful. And it was to the point where I had to gain my strength mentally, emotionally, and physically to get myself out of that situation," she said.

Raska said she told him she was on her period - that she didn't want this.

"He said 'you just think too much, you need to let stuff happen. This isn't a big deal. Sex is sex' all these things and I'm just thinking in my head - what just happened to me?" Raska said. "I remember getting in my car and pulling away and tears coming down my eyes again."

Raska said she confided in some coworkers because she didn't want it to happen to them. One, in particular, urged her to speak up.

"We were both in tears talking about it ," she said. "She's like, ‘DJay, you have to say something. He has to be stopped.' And in that sit-down, I realized that I was going to be the person to stop him."

Raska says she started working from home and stopped picking up Murphy's son from school. Instead, a young female equipment manager was assigned to do that. Raska and the Pistons eventually parted ways after that.

But she said Murphy continued to text her and then he had big news: Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver - a longtime friend of Rob Murphy - appointed Murphy assistant general manager of the Pistons.

"He continued to call and text and then in August – I guess when he got the promotion as a GM – he sent me a link to the website to show that he had been promoted," she said.

Raska kept ignoring him but couldn't ignore what he had done.

"That's when I had to realize this is not okay. This is not typical – a man hitting on you, a man being interested in you. This is a man using his power to abuse, harass, and assault you. This is not okay."

She eventually contacted attorney Megan Bonanni, whose clients include survivors of former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar.

"We contacted the organization. We presented her concerns. We gave them a list of what happened and we asked them to investigate and look into it," Bonanni said.

In October 2022, the Pistons suspended Murphy, citing an investigation into misconduct involving a former female employee.

"When I did hear that he was suspended, I felt liberated," Rasak said.

She sat down for a two-hour interview with Pistons' attorneys but since then, there was no movement.

"I was informed that the interview with DJay was helpful and that she appeared to be credible, but since that time in October, we have heard nothing," Bonanni said.

Raska has since sat for a lie detector test that she passed with flying colors.

"We want transparency, we want accountability, and we want Mr. Murphy to be held accountable," Bonanni said.

They seek accountability in a sport that’s seen far too many allegations of sexual harassment. They are now filing a civil suit in Wayne County against Murphy and the Pistons organization for sexual harassment and retaliation and assault and battery.

They've also filed another complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is now under investigation. That could lead to a case in federal court.

"Silence is not an option, it's not for me, it shouldn't be for any other woman – women before me, women that come after me – I have a daughter, silence is not an option," Raska said. "I really want justice."

"This is my chance to voice the truth, my way, and it will be heard and take my power back."

Raska's attorney says "it is a shameful situation that it took the threat of a lawsuit for the Pistons to do what was appropriate after all of these months. This is not the rogue employee - it’s the organization that is corrupt. The organization condoned and approved and were complicit in what he did and they were hoping that Ms Raska would go away."

When reached for comment on Murphy, the team said the termination of his employment was a confidential personnel matter and have no further comment.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2024 10:46 pm    Post subject:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/nba/pistons/2024/01/26/former-detroit-pistons-employee-sues-team-former-exec-rob-murphy-for-alleged-sexual-harassment/72371536007/

Quote:
Former Detroit Pistons employee sues team, former exec for alleged sexual harassment

A former Detroit Pistons employee is suing the team and a former assistant general manager in federal court for alleged sexual harassment and "brutally assaulting" her during her tenure with the team.

Attorneys from the Royal Oak-based law firm of Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni & Rivers filed a civil rights lawsuit Friday in Detroit U.S. District Court on behalf of DeJanai Raska, a former employee, and argued she also suffered assault and battery around November 2021. The Detroit Pistons Organization and Robert Murphy, the team's fired assistant general manager, were named as defendants, court records showed.

Raska, 32, who served as Murphy's executive assistant from September 2021 to June 2023, is seeking "an amount she is found to be entitled to" in punitive damages for past and present emotional suffering stemming from the alleged sexual harassment and assault she suffered. The organization was accused of tolerating and enabling a "sexually hostile workplace" that resulted in her departure, the suit said.


The suit accused Murphy of falsely telling the human resources department that Raska had resigned when he had actually fired her.

Murphy's attorneys and the Pistons couldn't immediately be reached on Friday. Raska's attorneys also couldn't be reached for comment.

Although initially placed on administrative leave in October 2022, Murphy was later fired nearly seven months later on May 4, the organization announced, citing "violation of company policy and the terms of his employment agreement." At the time, Raska's law firm had notified the team that it intended to sue on her behalf. The lawsuit accuses the Pistons of enabling sexual harassment by not moving to dismiss Murphy prior to the May notice to sue.


Raska's experience with Murphy and the Pistons was described as an "unfortunate but all too familiar story of the ongoing inability of professional athletic organizations to provide a safe workplace for women."

"Ms. Raska endured unrelenting harassment by Murphy, ranging from sexual comments about her body, to flaunting of his alleged sexual proclivity and past conquests, to pointing at his erect penis and telling Raska that 'she did this to him,'" the suit said.


"Murphy groped and grabbed her buttocks and breasts, declaring 'this is gonna be all mine,' and announced he wanted to put a baby inside of her. On one occasion, Murphy forced himself on top of Ms. Raska, held her down, and when she tried to pull away, he told her, 'You need to get out of your head. You think too much,'" according to the lawsuit.

At the time, Murphy was the senior player liaison for the Pistons and the general manager and president of the Motor City Cruise, a Pistons minor league affiliate.


Murphy also was accused of retaliating against Raska for refusing his sexual advances by assigning her to pick up his son from school and caring for him, while Murphy distributed most of her executive assistant “administrative duties and operations” described in Raska’s contract to other staff, the suit said.

"At no time did Murphy allow, train, or instruct Raska to perform the full duties that he hired her for," according to the litigation.

Murphy, represented by attorneys from the law firm of Potter, DeAgostino, O'Dea & Clark, in May denied Raska's claims and argued that Murphy had passed a polygraph test administered by the president of Michigan Association of Polygraph Examiners in November 2022, and "he fully cooperated with the Pistons’ investigation conducted by outside counsel."

Murphy, a Detroit native, was promoted to assistant general manager of the Pistons and president of the Motor City Cruise in March 2021. He spent the prior 20 years as a college basketball coach, which included 10 years as the head coach at Eastern Michigan, until he joined the Pistons as a senior director of player personnel in 2021.
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