Former Giants video director David Maltese filed an alarming lawsuit against the organization and Giants general counsel William J. Heller on Thursday, alleging “a culture of violence in the workplace by Giants’ management toward subordinates.”
Maltese alleges the Giants fired him in March “for retaliatory purposes” in violation of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, New Jersey’s whistleblower statute.
Maltese claims that on Sept. 12, 2020, he reported his immediate supervisor, director of football data & innovation Tyseer Siam, to Heller and management for allegedly “physically attacking and assaulting” a subordinate, assistant video director Steve Venditti.
Maltese alleges the Giants and Heller retaliated through “termination of employment, continued exposure to a violent superior, and direct threats of violence.”
He alleges that in a meeting on Sept. 30, Heller said that if Maltese conveyed the substance of their prior meetings to people not present, “I will personally go into your office and strangle you until you can no longer breathe, ok? OK?”
Maltese alleges Siam’s violence was “just a recent example of a pervasive and continuing pattern and culture of violence in the workplace by Giants’ management toward subordinates.”
He alleges Siam had engaged in threatening behavior toward him, as well. And Maltese alleged that in the past, he had been physically attacked by former video director John Mancuso and former assistant coach Dave DeGuglielmo — and that Heller and the Giants knew that, too.
Maltese alleges that DeGuglielmo “ragefully attacked” him back in Dec. 2004, “driving him into a table while allegedly screaming, ‘I am going to kill you.’”
“The attack happened in front of players, coaches, and Giants’ Owner Chris Mara,” the lawsuit reads, seemingly referring to current senior VP of player personnel Chris Mara. “The incident was reported to Giants’ General Manager [Ernie] Accorsi by Giants’ Senior Vice President of Medical Services, Ronnie Barnes. Defendants took no disciplinary action against DeGuglielmo.”
The Giants provided a statement to the Daily News in response to Maltese’s lawsuit.
“We are aware of the civil filing by a former employee and are prepared to aggressively defend the organization and its employees against the meritless claims,” a team spokesman said. “Beyond that, we do not intend to make further comment on this matter.”
The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County, was first reported by ESPN.
Maltese alleges he reported Siam’s alleged violence to Heller, director of football operations Ed Triggs, assistant GM Kevin Abrams and VP of human resources Debra Agosta.
But Maltese has the most to say about Heller. He alleges the Giants’ attorney, in a meeting on Sept. 18, “adopted a tone that was threatening and retaliatory and strongly suggested he was developing a ‘performance issue’ as a pretext for terminating” Maltese.
Maltese alleges that Heller said “there was ‘no way’ the Giants would shield” Maltese or Venditti from being in the vicinity of Siam after the alleged incident.
Maltese also claims he wrote an email to “Defendants” about the Giants’ upcoming flight that week to Chicago for a game against the Bears. In the email, Maltese complained that the assigned seating plan on the airplane had Siam seated “in close physical proximity” to Venditti and Maltese.
Heller allegedly “angrily accused” Maltese of “writing for the record” and “trying to set us up.” On Sept. 30, Heller allegedly said the issue of Siam’s violence should “not leave the room.”
Siam was temporarily removed from supervision of Maltese and his other subordinates in September, according to the lawsuit, but remains the Giants’ head of analytics and is still employed by the team with the same title that he held in September.
DeGuglielmo was hired back to the Giants in November to replace fired offensive line coach Marc Colombo after a heated argument between Colombo and head coach Joe Judge. But DeGuglielmo mysteriously departed with little fanfare after the season for a job at Louisiana Tech, supposedly because the team couldn’t agree with him on terms of a contract.
Maltese is seeking relief in the form of economic damages for all back and future lost wages, compensation, lost income, fringe benefits, retirement and pension plans. He is also seeking compensatory damages for pain, suffering, stress, humiliation, mental anguish, emotional harm and personal physical injury and physical sickness, and medical expenses, among other fees and damages and judgments.