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Local 100’s Davis accused of hitting girlfriend

Lawsuit details gender-violence claims


A former girlfriend of Transport Workers Union Local 100 president Richard Davis has accused him of having punched and otherwise assaulted her, including at least once in public.

According to a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court last week, Nicole Hecker and Davis established a “household,” even as the union official was still married, but that he became violent when she questioned him about his associations with other women and about his commitment to the relationship. 

A union spokesperson said Monday that while Davis had not yet been served with court papers, “his intention is to vigorously defend his name and character in court.”

The spokesperson added that he retained the support of a majority of union officials and that he had no intention of stepping down from his post. 

Hecker, a former MTA bus driver who was promoted to executive positions within the union while she was dating Davis, is suing Davis under a city law that temporarily lifts statutes of limitations on gender-motivated violence claims. 

The two met in 2009 when Hecker was a bus driver and became better acquainted when Davis, a former bus driver himself, helped her with an issue related to vacation time around 2009, according to the lawsuit. They grew intimate in 2011 after they worked together on a worker’s compensation case she was facing. 

For the next few years, Hecker accompanied Davis on his union-related trips and at events, requesting union release. But things began to turn sour when she learned of “information about Mr. Davis, and his other relationships with females within the MTA.”

In the late spring of 2015, during a drive following a TWU event the two attended together, Hecker asked Davis about “an inappropriate relationship” he was having with another woman who was at the same event. 

Davis, according to the suit, responded by repeatedly punching Hecker in the face and head, busting her lip and swelling and bruising her. Although he put her in a headlock, she said she was eventually able to escape and got into a car driven by an ex-union official, who had been behind the couple’s vehicle. 

“Part of being a female in this relationship, meant that Ms. Hecker was not allowed to

question Mr. Davis’ ‘authority,’ his actions, or his behavior with other women, lest face

the wrath of his violent assaults,” the claim says. 

Davis was elected by the union’s board to succeed Tony Utano a year ago. 

Statute of limitations extended

In the summer of 2016, following her promotion from executive secretary to the local’s president to director of the union’s Childcare Trust Fund, Hecker, while the couple were food shopping across the street from the union’s Montague Street headquarters, asked Davis about his ongoing divorce proceedings and his contributions to the household. 

According to the suit, he grabbed Hecker by her hair and tried to bring her to the grocery store’s floor, while also digging his nails into her arm, drawing blood. 

The suit says she did not officially report the incidents because she feared losing her job and also due “to the history of TWU to rescue and sanitize their members who commit wrongs as opposed to rightfully subjecting them to the disciplinary process.” 

Hecker, who remains director of the local’s Childcare Trust Fund, ended the relationship in December 2016 and, other than professional communication, stopped speaking with Davis around May of the following year. She is seeking punitive damages and a judgment finding that Davis violated Victims of Gender-Motivated Protection Law and that he twice committed violence against her.

The city law under which Hecker is suing permits purported victims of gender-motivated violence whose allegations would previously have been disallowed under the statute of limitations to sue their alleged abusers during a two-year period that ends Feb. 28, 2025. The law also extends the original statutory filing period to nine years.

Evangeline Byars, a union member and official with Women Uplifting Women, a Brooklyn-based organization, called on the Local 100 board to place Davis on a leave of absence while the matter is adjudicated. “Violence and harassment against women, whether in the workplace or elsewhere, are unacceptable,” she wrote in a letter to Latonya Crisp, the union’s recording secretary. She urged other women who might have been harmed through actions by Davis or members of his cabinet to come forward. 

Davis and his attorneys have until early next year to submit their response to the allegations to the court. 



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