Fired Citi Field scoreboard operator plans to file complaint

Chris Granozio admits that the Bob Murphy impersonation his Mets colleague was doing February 16 in a Citi Field control room was “vulgar,” but Granozio says that the colleague’s shtick was no worse than any “Saturday Night Live” skit.

And since Granozio says he and his colleague were joking around in what they thought was the privacy of a vacant room at the Flushing ballpark, there was no danger of offending anyone. But a female Mets employee was listening in an adjacent room without Granozio and his colleague knowing, Granozio says, and he adds that he and his colleague were terminated by the Mets a short time later, after he claims the female employee recorded them on her cell phone and turned over the audio clip to the team’s human resources department.

Advertisement

Granozio – who was a full-time employee for the team from 1997-2004 and who has been a part-time Mets employee since 2006 working as a scoreboard operator, writer and producer – says his attorney, Jeffrey Dubin, plans to file a complaint with the New York City Human Rights Commission Thursday claiming discrimination played a role in his termination.

“My colleague does amazing impressions, and the one he does of Bob Murphy is uncanny,” Granozio told the Daily News Wednesday, referring to the late Mets announcer known for his “happy recap” phrase. “This time, my colleague was doing a fake promotion in Murphy’s voice. We decided to go to a secure room and have fun with it. You need card access to rooms (at Citi Field) and we went into the vacant control room.

“My colleague (Granozio says the colleague wants to remain anonymous) started saying in Murphy’s voice, ‘It’s P—y Day at Shea, and we’re having a P—y Day Parade around the warning track, where I’ll be the judge. You can parade around and show your p—y.’ He started doing the riff and I laughed and encouraged him to do more. That’s all I did, was laugh. We had no idea someone else was listening.”

Chris Granozio stands outside Citi Field.

Chris Granozio stands outside Citi Field. (Courtesy of Chris Granozio)

Granozio, 53, says a week later, his colleague was fired. The Mets then called Granozio in, and he says he was told he had violated company policy and that the team had evidence of Granozio and his colleague speaking inappropriately.

“I handed over my ID and parking pass. I asked in my exit interview, ‘Is there anything I can do? Take sensitivity training? Can I get a suspension without pay?’ They shook their heads and said, ‘Zero tolerance.’ I got fired Feb. 26,” says Granozio. “My lawyer thinks I didn’t violate anything in the handbook. The Mets gave me no avenue to appeal, no due process. I feel like my privacy rights were violated.”

The Mets said in a statement to The News that the organization is “committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, and our actions with respect to the employees in question were consistent with that objective.”

Dubin, Granozio’s lawyer, said in a statement to The News: “Chris was an exemplary Mets employee for more than twenty years. He was summarily fired for a single, two and a half minute conversation. He had neither touched, nor ever met the woman who complained about him. She was invading Chris’ privacy by surreptitiously recording his conversation. It reminds me of events in the Soviet Union. People would listen to conversations through walls; provide the conversations to the secret police. Those people would then disappear.”

Granozio says the female employee who recorded him and his colleague is a full-time Mets employee, and he claims that she sent the audio to two female Mets human resources staffers. Granozio wonders why the female employee who recorded them didn’t just knock on the door or alert them that their ribald Bob Murphy act was inappropriate.

“I’m quite sure this woman has no idea who Bob Murphy is. She could have said something. We would have apologized. I think maybe they were trying to make a #MeToo case,” says Granozio, referring to the movement against sexual harassment/assault that started last fall. “But it’s fine that people can record you through walls? The Mets felt it was their legal right to fire us for due cause. My lawyer sent a letter to the Mets hierarchy, but they wouldn’t meet with us.

“My bosses fought for me, and I’m not pounding my chest, but I’ve gotten a ton of texts from employees there saying it’s not the same,” adds Granozio. “I won two national awards for the Mets. I’ve worked 80-hour weeks, I slept on the floor of Shea (Stadium). I’m a hard man to replace. Good luck finding any dirt about me. My friends say I’m like a Mormon.”

Granozio says the irony is that he grew up with a single mother in the ’70s and ’80s, long before the #MeToo movement, and that he would get angry when he felt his Mom was being verbally harassed or taunted.

“The Mets left me no alternative but to take action. If the Human Rights Commission decides to take up the case, they can launch an investigation into the Mets. There could be a settlement, or they could fight it. This is to try and get my job back,” says Granozio. “It’s not about money. I want to expose them for the tactics they used which I think are egregious.”

Source: Ny Daily News

Leave a Reply

*