As reported by, nearly all of the police officers who were laid off by the Newark Police Department last year have received checks for their unused vacation or compensatory time, nearly seven months after it was due.

The city has paid $142,551.90 in back pay to 133 former officers over the past two months, clearing most of the amount owed to the officers who were dismissed when Newark laid off 162 cops during a massive public works purge last year, according to Anne Torres, a city spokeswoman. The payments came months after James Stewart, Jr., vice president of Newark’s Fraternal Order of Police, and several former officers blasted the city for failing to pay them in an April Star-Ledger article.

Stewart said the officers should have been paid January 1, a month after they were laid off. The FOP also filed a complaint against the city with a state employment commission on June 10, three days before the first checks were issued. “It’s a shame they had to wait so long to be paid,” Stewart said. “But we’re moving forward though, and we hope the next step is they can be getting regular checks again when they’re rehired.” 

Torres said the payments were simply pending approval by police officials, and they were not in response to the union filing a grievance. Eighteen other officers are still owed money, but their checks were delayed because they did not file their paperwork on time, Torres said.

Newark’s Superior Officers Association also filed a labor grievance against the city earlier this year, alleging Newark owes eight retirees a combined $870,000. Torres said the matter will go before a judge in September.