By LOUISE BOYLE and DANIEL MILLER
A lawsuit filed today has alleged that the reason a veteran police officer committed suicide was because he was forced to have sex with a female boss in order not to be punished by workload and scheduling. Officer Matthew Schindler, 39, shot himself on February 13 last year after pulling onto the side of the Long Island Expressway, New York on his way home from work.
His widow Gina Schindler has claimed that her husband was driven to his death because his boss Sgt Christine Hertzel forced him into an affair from which ‘he could not escape’. According to the suit, filed at Queens Supreme Court, the highway officer was 'made to understand that he would suffer tangible detriment in his job, job assignments, work conditions and future prospects if he did not submit to the sexual advances and demands...', according to the New York Post.
The widow, who was left to care for the couple's five-year-old twin girls after her husband died, is suing the NYPD and the Sgt Hertzel. She is seeking unspecified damages. Mrs Schindler alleges that her husband had an affair with the woman from March 2011 until the time of his death.
Officer Schindler reportedly tried to put an end to the relationship on February 13, saying he would kill himself over the guilt. The female boss refused and then told the police captain about their affair and Schlinder's threat of suicide, according to the lawsuit. The captain then allegedly tried to call Mr Schindler. A spokesman for the city did not comment on the lawsuit and neither would Mrs Schindler's attorney.
On the day of his death, the 14-year veteran, described by a friend as an 'an all-around great guy' had sent a text to his sergeant to say he wouldn't be seeing him any more. His fellow officers were ordered back to the 115th Precinct station-house, where flags were lowered to half mast, to be told the tragic news.