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Category Archives: Public Employee Discipline

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Appellate Division Upholds Officers’ Suspension in Connection with Off-Duty Bar Fight

Posted in Public Employee Discipline, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by N.J.com, the Pennsauken Police Department was right to suspend six officers in 2011 for violating rules and hindering the investigation of a fight that involved two off-duty officers, an appellate court has ruled. The conduct was not directly related to the fight May 7, 2011, but to officers’ failure to properly report and… Continue Reading

The US Supreme Court agrees that Paterson Police Officer’s Demotion Violated his First Amendment Right to Free Speech

Posted in Public Employee Discipline, Public Employment Labor Law
The U.S. Supreme Court sided with former Paterson police officer Jeffrey J. Heffernan and ruled that his First Amendment rights were violated when he was demoted after picking up a campaign sign for the mayor’s opponent.  Heffernan had been demoted after supporters of Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres saw him picking up a campaign sign for challenger Lawrence Spagnola,… Continue Reading

Removal of Corrections Officer Affirmed

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
www.state.nj.us/csc/ On July 20, 2010, the Appellate Division decided In the Matter of Latief Dickerson, Hudson County, Docket No.: A-1323-08T2. In the case, Latief Dickerson appealed from a final decision of the Civil Service Commission (“Commission”) terminating his employment as a corrections officer with the Hudson County Department of Corrections (“Department”). On May 5, 2006,… Continue Reading

Appellate Division Affirms Police Officer’s Removal for Misconduct

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
On June 3, 2010, the Appellate Division decided In the Matter of Torres Mayfield, Docket No.: A-2969-08T1. In the case, Torres Mayfield appealed from the final decision of the Civil Service Commission (“Commission”) terminating him as an Atlantic City police officer for misconduct. Mayfield was charged with violations of Atlantic City Police Department Rules and… Continue Reading

Termination of Internal Affairs Officer Who Disclosed Pending Investigation Affirmed

Posted in Internal Affairs, Public Employee Discipline
On June 1, 2010, the Appellate Division decided In the Matter of Michael Sottilare, Department of Corrections Hudson County, Docket No.: A-4761-08T3. In the case, Michael Sottilare appealed from a Civil Service Commission (“Commission”) decision affirming the Hudson County Division of Personnel’s termination of his employment with the county’s Department of Corrections. Sottilare, after more… Continue Reading

Dissemination of Photograph Warrants Suspension

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
On March 23, 2010, the Appellate Division decided In the Matter of Keith Curry, Vernon Township, Docket No.: A-4662-07T2. In the case, Keith Curry, a police officer with the Vernon Township Police Department (“the Department”), appealed from a final decision of the Merit System Board (“the Board”) rejecting the Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) initial decision… Continue Reading

Termination of Corrections Officer Sustained

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
  On December 21, 2009, the Appellate Division decidedIn the Matter of Edwin Garcia, Department of Corrections Hudson County, Docket No.: A-1404-08T3. In the case, Edwin Garcia appeals from the final administrative action of the Civil Service Commission, terminating his employment as a corrections officer with the Hudson County Department of Corrections. At issue were… Continue Reading

Suspension of Transit Police Sergeant Sustained

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
  On September 8, 2009, the Appellate Division decided In the Matter of Sergeant Maryelyn Conway, Docket No.: A-6162-07T3. In the case, Sergeant Maryelyn Conway appeals from an administrative determination of the New Jersey Transit Police Department suspending her for a period of four days for two related minor disciplinary infractions. On the night of… Continue Reading

Corrections Officer Charged In Fake Grenade Incident

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
  As reported by the Asbury Park Press on August 24, 2009, Keith Trimmer, 41, a senior corrections officer at Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility, has been charged with bringing an imitation hand grenade into the facility on May 13, 2009, creating a disturbance, according to the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office. Other correction officers saw the… Continue Reading

Suspension of Hudson County Corrections Officer Upheld

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
  On August 17, 2009, the Appellate Division decided In the Matter of Juan Melendez, Docket No.: A-4617-07T1. In the case, Juan Melendez, a Hudson County Corrections Officer, appealed from a final administrative determination of the Merit System Board (“Board”) imposing a fifteen-day suspension for neglect of duty and other sufficient cause warranting discipline. The… Continue Reading

Termination of Municipal Patrolman Upheld

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
  On June 11, 2009, the Appellate Division decided Michael Kappre v. Borough of Paulsboro, Docket No.: A-3573-07T3. In the case, the Paulsboro Police Chief filed misconduct charges against Michael Kappre, a former patrolman and sniper for the Paulsboro Police Department’s SWAT team. The Borough of Paulsboro sought Kappre’s termination. Kappre pleaded not guilty to the charges… Continue Reading

PERC Proposes Temporary Rules Regarding Non-Civil Service Law Enforcement & Firefighters

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
Recently, the Public Employment Relations Commission (“PERC”) has proposed temporary rules to implement the provisions of L.2009, c.16. That law allows non-Civil Service law enforcement officers and firefighters who are terminated pursuant to a complaint or charges not involving any alleged violation of criminal law to have the option of having their terminations reviewed by means… Continue Reading

Termination of Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officer Upheld

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
On April 28, 2009, the Appellate Division decided In the Matter of Joan Ivan, Docket No.: A-1070-07T2.  Following a hearing conducted on April 15, 2003, appellant, Joan Ivan (“Ivan”), a Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officer, was suspended for thirty days as the result of disciplinary charges stemming from her alleged failure to truthfully report smoking by… Continue Reading

Trial Court Authority to Impose Discipline Different From Municipality Upheld

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
On March 31, 2008, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, decided the case Detective Sergeant Dean Ackermann v. Borough of Glen Rock and Glen Rock Police Department, Docket Number A-2947-07T2. In the case, the parties appealed and cross-appealed from an order entered by the trial court. Plaintiff has been a member of the Glen… Continue Reading

Corrections’ Officer Suspension for Buying Home With Probationer Upheld

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
On March 30, 2009, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division decided the case In the Matter of Richard J. Rivera, Docket No. A-3672-07T2. In the case, Richard J. Rivera, a county corrections officer assigned to the Monmouth County Correctional Institute (“MCCI”), appealed from a final decision of the Merit System Board suspending him for… Continue Reading

Potential for Reimbursement of Wages Received During Period of Suspension

Posted in Civil Service Appeals, Public Employee Discipline
On March 20, 2009, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey decided the case of Wade v. Colaner. In the case, plaintiff, a Tinton Falls police officer, was pulled over by New Jersey State Troopers for speeding. Plaintiff was subsequently charged with careless driving, obstruction of administration of law, and resisting arrest. On account… Continue Reading

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S GUIDELINES MUST BE FOLLOWED IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION

Posted in Internal Affairs, Public Employee Discipline
  In the matter of O’Rourke v. City of Lambertville, Docket No. A-0481-07T3, the Defendants appeal the trial court’s decision: (1) reversing the Lambertville City Council’s decision removing Plaintiff, Michael O’Rourke, from his position as a police officer; (2) reinstating Plaintiff to his position; and (3) denying their motion for reconsideration. Defendant, Bruce Cocuzza, is… Continue Reading
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