Mohawk Home and former employees trade lawsuits

Two guys and four gals have joined forces to sue Mohawk Residence restaurant and its operator, Steve Scro, for sexual abuse, sexual harassment, intimidation, and retaliation. The lawsuit will come 6 months immediately after Mohawk Home sued and got a default judgment versus one particular of the complainants for “terroristic threats” and trying to “destroy” Mohawk Residence.

“Mohawk Home has been an anchor in the neighborhood for extra than 15 a long time, with many of the around 45 team possessing labored there for around five many years or more. This retaliatory lawsuit was initiated by a former staff who frequently turns to the courts with outrageous accounts intended to outcome in a major payday…The other employees’ problems ended up investigated and determined to be with out any foundation… We search ahead to the details rising.”
— Stephen J. Edelstein, attorney for Mohawk Household cafe

“Over the decades,” the criticism commences, “while (Steve) Scro unapologetically sexually abused his workforce and discriminated against them, he would repeatedly remind them that in Sparta, he had near connections with several powerful folks, including the Sparta law enforcement department, judges and community politicians.”

In May perhaps, Mohawk House sued just one of the plaintiffs, James Kruzelnick, as the “mastermind” of a social media campaign “to demolish it.”

Mohawk House’s attorney referred to as the present match “retaliatory” for the action Mohawk Dwelling took from Kruzelnick and four many others in Could. Kruzelnick did not answer to that lawsuit, and in August Mohawk Dwelling acquired a default judgment of $5,000 from him. In connection with that suit, Kruzelnick’s lawyer, Bennitta Joseph of Joseph & Norinsberg, explained, “Steve Scro’s attacks versus Mr. Kruzelnick are a total distortion of reality and practically nothing much more than Scro’s manipulative endeavor to twist and conceal the real truth and falsely portray himself as the sufferer.”

In the existing lawsuit, Kruzelnick, a Wantage resident, alleges that though doing the job as a bartender at Mohawk Property he was discriminated in opposition to and harassed because of his sexual orientation. In accordance to the grievance, Scro frequently built gay jokes and referred to as Kruzelnick “faggot.” When a manager manufactured derogatory reviews to Kruzelnick and known as him “gay boy” in a textual content, Scro purportedly by no means took action towards the manager.

The other plaintiffs

The other complainants in the fit against Mohawk Household — AnnMarie Stefano, Denise Guagenti, Lisa Stoeckel, Kayla Greenback, and Craig Vaccaro — allege that Scro would “repeatedly smack and grope” employees’ buttocks, explain to females to put on decreased-reduce blouses and get boob work, and ask “female workers to kiss” him as they walked by. Stoeckel alleges she was demoted and her hourly wage slash since she held rejecting Scro’s developments.

In accordance to the criticism, “everyone disregarded Scro’s actions since…he experienced completed it so routinely that he experienced normalized his offensive behavior.”

Alongside one another, the plaintiffs search for damages totaling $15 million.

In reaction: ‘An anchor in the community’

Mohawk Household lawyer Stephen Edelstein responded to the match saying, “Mohawk Home has been an anchor in the local community for much more than 15 decades, with lots of of the in excess of 45 staff members possessing labored there for over 5 several years or far more. This retaliatory lawsuit was initiated by a former personnel who continuously turns to the courts with outrageous accounts supposed to outcome in a huge payday.

“His general performance file speaks for by itself.

“The other employees’ grievances ended up investigated and established to be without the need of any basis.

“This motion is supposed to damage a business enterprise, now reeling from COVID, still it proceeds to take each and every prospect to assist the group.

“We glimpse ahead to the facts emerging.”

Kruzelnick vs. the decide

Kruzelnick is represented by Manhattan-dependent legislation business Joseph & Norinsberg, which also signifies Kruzelnick in his September 2020 sexual harassment match against previous Top-quality Court Choose Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News analyst.

In that lawsuit, Kruzelnick alleges Napolitano groped him and “grabbed” his buttocks and informed him “you are just so hot” when they had been equally at Mohawk Property. Napolitano denies the allegations.

He also alleges that Napolitano reported he experienced “fixed cases” ahead of. Kruzelnick considered he “would have to carry on to carry out sexual favors for Napolitano if he needed Napolitano to assistance out his brother,” who is incarcerated.

Napolitano’s attorney told The New Jersey Herald that Kruzelnick’s lawsuit is “nonsense.”

Editor’s observe: This report has been revised from the primary.

Timeline

2010: Plaintiff Denise Guagenti is fired. She was 1st hired in 2007.

2016: Plaintiff Lisa Stoeckel resigns. She was initially hired in 2016.

2017: Plaintiff Craig Vaccaro is fired. He was 1st hired in 2015.

2018: Plaintiff James Kruzelnick is fired. He was to start with hired in 2005.

2018: Plaintiff Kayla Dollar resigns. She was 1st hired in 2017.

2019: Plaintiff AnnMarie Stefano resigns. She was very first hired in 2016.

March 16-June 15, 2020: Restaurant eating in New Jersey is limited to just take-out.

May 2020: Mohawk House sues Kruzelnick and four other individuals for orchestrating a social media campaign “to wipe out it.”

August 2020: Court docket finds in favor of the Mohawk Dwelling and levies a $5,000 default judgment from Kruzelnick, who never responded to the allegations.

Sept. 11, 2020: Charles Corbishley sues Fox News analyst and Newton resident Judge Napolitano for coercing him into intercourse 32 a long time before. Napolitano denies all allegations.

Sept. 29, 2020: Kruzelnick sues Napolitano for sexually harassing him and coercing him into intercourse in a series of incidents that allegedly transpired from 2014 to 2017, such as incidents at Mohawk Dwelling. Napolitano denies all allegations.

Nov. 23, 2020: Six former Mohawk House workforce — Kruzelnick, Vaccaro, Stefano, Guagenti, Stoeckel, and Dollar — sue Mohawk Home and its proprietor, Steve Scro, for $15 million, alleging sexual harassment and assault. Scro and Mohawk Residence deny all allegations.