An association of retired cops has warned Hamilton Township to not tamper with their retirement package. The association alleges it would be illegal to change the terms of their benefits “in the middle of the stream.” The Mercer County Local 12 of the Retired Police and Firemen’s Association sent the warning to the Hamilton Township Business Administrator John Ricci this week in a letter.

Ricci confirmed he received the letter a letter from Trenton attorney Sid Lehman, saying the association “objected” to the Township’s plan to change retirees’ prescription drug co-pays to match the co-pay terms of active employees. “Sid sent a letter saying you can’t do that because they are retirees and they are entitled to the same benefit they had when they retired,” Ricci said. “He gave me the case law, and I agreed with him, and that was the end of that.”

Thomas Murphy,a retired Trenton cop and president of the 400-member Local 12, said there is nothing “adversarial” about the issue. “We want to sit down and see if we can come to an agreement at the table. We have precedent on our side, and we won’t hesitate to use it.”

“They’re not a union, they have no right negotiate,” Ricci said, “but they do have certain rights to continue receiving the same benefits they had when they retired, and that’s what this is about.” 

Both Ricci and Murphy expressed optimism that the issue would be resolved without any legal action.

Print:
Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Donald C. Barbati Donald C. Barbati

Donald C. Barbati is a shareholder of Crivelli, Barbati & DeRose, L.L.C. His primary practice revolves around the representation of numerous public employee labor unions in various capacities to include contract negotiation, unfair labor practice litigation, contract grievance arbitration, and other diverse issues…

Donald C. Barbati is a shareholder of Crivelli, Barbati & DeRose, L.L.C. His primary practice revolves around the representation of numerous public employee labor unions in various capacities to include contract negotiation, unfair labor practice litigation, contract grievance arbitration, and other diverse issues litigated before the courts and administrative tribunals throughout the State of New Jersey. In addition, Mr. Barbati also routinely represents individuals in various types of public pension appeals, real estate transactions, and general litigation matters. He is a frequent contributor to the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog, a free legal publication designed to keep New Jersey public safety officers up-to-date and informed about legal issues pertinent to their profession. During his years of practice, Mr. Barbati has established a reputation for achieving favorable results for his clients in a cost-efficient manner.

Mr. Barbati has also handled numerous novel legal issues while representing New Jersey Public Safety Officers. Most notably, he served as lead counsel for the Appellants in the published case In re Rodriguez, 423 N.J. Super. 440 (App. Div. 2011). In that case, Mr. Barbati successfully argued on behalf of the Appellants, thereby overturning the Attorney General’s denial of counsel to two prison guards in a civil rights suit arising from an inmate assault. In the process, the Court clarified the standard to be utilized by the Attorney General in assessing whether a public employee is entitled to legal representation and mandated that reliance must be placed on up-to-date information.

Prior to becoming a practicing attorney, Mr. Barbati served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Linda R. Feinberg, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer Vicinage. During his clerkship Mr. Barbati handled numerous complex and novel substantive and procedural issues arising from complaints in lieu of prerogative writs, orders to show cause, and motion practice. These include appeals from decisions by planning and zoning boards and local government bodies, bidding challenges under the Local Public Contract Law, Open Public Records Act requests, the taking of private property under the eminent domain statute, and election law disputes. In addition, Mr. Barbati, as a certified mediator, mediated many small claims disputes in the Special Civil Part.

Mr. Barbati received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, magna cum laude, from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Upon graduating, Mr. Barbati attended Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware. In 2007, he received his juris doctorate, magna cum laude, graduating in the top five percent of his class. During law school, Mr. Barbati interned for the Honorable Joseph E. Irenas, Senior United States District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey, assisting on various constitutional, employment, and Third Circuit Court of Appeals litigation, including numerous civil rights, social security, and immigration cases.