NEW YORK – The widow of a New York City police officer claims her husband committed suicide because his supervisor demanded sex from him in exchange for a favorable work schedule and job assignments.
Officer Mathew Schindler's career depended on his "submission to the sexual advances" of his married supervisor, Sgt. Christine Hirtzel, according to the suit filed by his wife, Gina, in Queens Supreme Court last week.
"Schindler was made to understand that he would suffer tangible detriment in his job, job assignments, working conditions and future prospects if he did not submit to the sexual advances," the suit says.
It alleges that Schindler told Hirtzel he would kill himself if the advances didn't stop, telling her he found them "repugnant and causing him psychic injury and suffering."
Hirtzel refused to break off the affair, but let him leave the stationhouse with his service weapon, according to the court papers. The sergeant reported the suicide threat to a captain and confessed to an affair with the officer, the papers say.
The captain then allegedly attempted "to rectify the hostile work environment and persuade him against suicide" by calling the officer.
Schindler, the father of three small children, shot himself in the head in his car on the Long Island Expressway on Feb. 13, 2012. The 14-year veteran of the force was assigned to the 115th Precinct in Queens.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Hirtzel's husband, the NYPD and Gina Schindler declined to comment.