A Massapequa woman who claims to have spent "over 100 nights" with an on-duty Nassau County police officer has filed legal notice that she intends to sue the county for $10 million.
Tara Obenauer, 42, said in court papers that the county failed to supervise Officer Mike Tedesco, allowing him to visit her home regularly for about seven months until February, almost always during his shifts, in his uniform and while driving his patrol car. During some visits, he removed his gun belt and left it unattended near Obenauer's children, court papers say.
"If the county had exercised minimal diligence in supervising its employee, they would have discovered what he was doing long before," said Obenauer's attorney, Frank Perrone, of Garden City. He said Obenauer is set to give a sworn statement in the case Aug. 2 and has until next May to file her formal complaint. The notice was filed May 7.
The notice of claim says Obenauer has "suffered severe . . . emotional and psychological damages" and is "too scared to leave her house fearing that Tedesco or other officers may retaliate against her."
"Before this incident, she was a well-respected vice president of a Fortune 500 company successfully raising two children on her own," Perrone said. "Her reputation has been completely tarnished."
The notice, which also names Tedesco and the police department, claims other officers covered for Tedesco during the affair. Sources have said Tedesco was caught when neighbors reported seeing a cruiser parked in front of Obenauer's home for hours every day.
Tedesco retired April 6 without permission from the police commissioner. Since then, sources have said, the police internal affairs unit has been looking at additional claims against Tedesco, including allegations that he and other officers had sex with a woman in a van while on duty.
County Attorney John Ciampoli described Obenauer's claims as meritless. He called it "ironic" that Obenauer, who had a consensual sexual relationship with Tedesco, would sue the county. "There was a police cruiser parked in her driveway," he said. "She appears to have gotten something from the county that other citizens did not."
"It appears to be a frivolous lawsuit," said Nassau Police Benevolent Association president James Carver.
Nassau police spokesman Kenneth Lack said the department does not comment on pending litigation.
Tedesco could not be reached for comment.