Reports filed in court show that agents Scott Borden and Natalie Assad acted on an anonymous complaint when they went into the transportation department's special events building — which has since moved — and converged on the break room.
Assad said in court documents that she heard a male voice counting to three in Spanish and then went in and saw 11 people in a semicircle, bent over the floor, with a "large pile" of money in the center. She wrote she saw Flowers "make a tossing motion and tossed several small objects of what she believed to be dice to the floor."
"The activity is indicative of a street craps game," the charging document states.
Assad said in the documents that Flowers and others grabbed money as agents went inside. She then said that Flowers "forcefully shoved and grabbed" her while she was standing near the door, "in an attempt to flee." In the charging document filed in court, the city officer wrote: "Agent Assad did not sustain any injury as a result of [Flowers'] attempt to flee the scene."
Assad said in the report that police seized three sets of different-colored dice and $239 from the pile on the floor. A total of $6,339 was seized from the floor and the suspect's pockets, according to a police report. Authorities said some money was put in a circle around the Remy cognac bottle.
A subsequent report filed by the inspector general, used in civil service hearings, describes a far more chaotic scene, with at least one employee escaping by climbing through an opening in the room's drop ceiling and Flowers pushing Assad so hard that the door to the room broke. The report says three employees locked themselves in a carpentry shop to try to escape detection.
Defense attorneys called this account exaggerated. Flowers' attorney, James Rhodes, said his client pleaded guilty "because he didn't want to risk a trial and going to jail." He said Flowers brushed up against an agent while trying to open a bathroom door,
"That was the assault," Rhodes said. "He touched her. … This whole thing was ridiculous. My client had worked 18 years for the city, and all of it came to an end because police spent thousands of dollars to see if someone was rolling dice."
DeCarlo, who is still fighting for his job, said work was slow on the day of the raid because of an impending move to Lombard Street. Most of the material and tools had already been relocated.
Shortly after 11 a.m., he said, he was paid — $837.34 — and took his lunch hour to cash the check at a nearby bank. He withdrew an additional $300 from his account. He said he bought soda and a sandwich and returned to the carpentry shop.
DeCarlo said he decided to contribute $5 to the cookout and was eating in the break room when investigators came in on the raid. "I was concentrating on eating my chicken," he said. "I didn't see what was going on in the middle of the floor. I could see Flowers on his knees, and there was a pile of money. There was dice on the floor."
But DeCarlo said he and another bystander, who was eating a cheeseburger, were arrested along with everyone else. "Everybody in that room went to jail," he said. DeCarlo said police seized his money, which he said was in his pocket — $1,137, minus the few dollars he had spent on food.
"That proves I didn't have any money in the game," he said, adding that most people in the room had also cashed their paychecks, accounting for the large amount of money seized by police.
DeCarlo's money has been returned; it was unclear whether the other workers have had their money returned.
While his charges were pending, DeCarlo said he moved from the transportation department to the quasi-public Parking Authority. But he said the authority suspended him when his criminal case was delayed and then told him he had to resign from the city before coming back. He did that but said he was told by the authority that there were no more openings.
The authority did not respond to a request for comment.
"They told me I had to resign from the city to work for parking, and then parking suspended me because my case wasn't over," DeCarlo said. "Now that it's over, transportation is saying I quit, and the people in parking say they don't have room for me. I still can't go back to work. I'm still fighting it."
Middleton, the union representative, said DeCarlo may have no other options. He said the city has refused to rescind the resignation. Meanwhile, a third job DeCarlo had, with the private company that owns the city's parking meters, is also on hold until he can have his criminal case expunged.
"Somebody has got to pay for this," DeCarlo said.