As reported by nj.com, four years after a State Police union leader, David Jones, tangled with radio talk show host Craig Carton, the sizzle has long gone out of the feud. Yet, the labor dispute it spawned lives on.
Jones faced a five-day suspension for bringing personal information about Carton to a news conference after the shock jock criticized troopers on his New Jersey 101.5 FM radio show. But Jones never served the suspension, and he filed a labor complaint saying the state was trying to silence him. The complaint has never been acted on by the Public Employment Relations Commission, which handles disputes between labor and management.
In a twist, the complaint has languished for so long that Jones is now a member of the commission with which it was filed. He was nominated by Governor Chris Christie last month. Christine Lucarelli-Carneiro, the commission’s deputy general counsel, said that members routinely recuse themselves from cases in which they have a stake.
The complaint, not yet closed, may never need to reach the full commission, which includes labor and management advocates. Lucarelli-Carneiro said the state and the union indicated early on that the dispute could be settled amicably.
The labor dispute stems from a 2007 feud between Jones, the outspoken president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association, and Carton, an acerbic radio talker who was one of two “Jersey Guys” on 101.5 known for their irreverence. Carton and his co-host, Ray Rossi, accused the State Police of planning a “ticket blitz” to harass motorists. Enraged, Jones called a news conference at the Statehouse to denounce the accusation as false. He brought a piece of paper with Carton’s home address and other personal information.
Jones halted his campaign at the request of State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes. But the state attorney general at the time, Stuart Rabner, said Jones’ actions were inappropriate and undermined the State Police. Fuentes responded by issuing a five-day suspension to Jones, who wants it rescinded on the grounds that the disciplinary action infringes on his right to represent his union members.
“The wrongful actions taken by the public employer are retaliatory in nature,” the complaint says. ‘The actions are clearly intended to discourage union representatives in the exercise of rights guaranteed by the (New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act).”