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Public Safety Officers Law Blog

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NJ Attorney General Directive: All NJ Police Officers Subject to Random Drug Testing

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law

As reported by, all police officers in New Jersey are now subject to random drug-testing under a directive from the State’s new Attorney General. Police Departments are also required to implement “early warning systems” triggered by problem behavior such as misconduct accusations, lawsuits, domestic abuse and drunken driving underĀ a separate directive announced by Attorney… Continue Reading

Lawmaker Suggests Police Internal Affairs Functions Be Transferred To AG’s Office

Posted in Internal Affairs

  As reported by, the internal affairs functions of every law enforcement agency in New Jersey would be transferred to the Attorney General’s Office under a bill proposed by an assemblyman, who contends politics and bias too often creep into investigations when police departments police themselves. Assemblyman Peter Barnes III (D-Middlesex), the son of… Continue Reading

ACLU Pokes Hole In Attorney General’s Internal Affairs Complaint Forms For Police

Posted in Internal Affairs

  As reported by, after rolling out tougher rules in May for police departments’ internal affairs units, State Attorney General Paula Dow has released new reporting forms that omit a crucial question: How many complaints about police officers are being investigated at the end of each year? The new forms published Tuesday don’t require police departments… 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

SID Union Accuses NJDOC of Preventing, Blocking Prison Investigations

Posted in Internal Affairs

  As reported in the Star-Ledger on November 26, 2009, according to a lawsuit filed by the union representing prison investigators, senior officials at the Department of Corrections are illegally blocking internal investigations into bribery, cell phone smuggling and gang activity. In short, the lawsuit alleges that Correction officials shut down ongoing probes or prevented investigations… Continue Reading

Discipline Regading Dissemination of Internal Affairs Documents Upheld

Posted in Internal Affairs

  In Division of State Police v. In the Matter of Detective Sergeant First Class Daniel Flaherty, Docket No. A-0257-07T20257-07T2, the Appellate Division addressed the validity and ultimate imposition of disciplinary charges lodged against a Detective Sergeant of the New Jersey State Police. The appeal arose out of disciplinary charges filed by the New Jersey… Continue Reading


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

Internal Affairs Records and Reports May Be Released Subject to Redaction

Posted in Internal Affairs

In the case of Spinks et al. v. The Township of Clinton et al., 52-2-1684, The Township of Clinton sought to bar the release of an internal affairs investigation of the police department that was submitted to the trial court as part and parcel to a summary judgment proceeding.  The Township argued that the disclosure of these types of… Continue Reading

Weingarten: Protecting Your Rights During The Investigatory Interview

Posted in Public Employee Discipline

This is the second entry drafted by Michael P. DeRose concerning the utilization and implementation of Weingarten rights by New Jersey Public Safety Officers. Subsequent to the invocation of Weingarten Rights by a New Jersey Public Safety Officer, the supervising authority conducting the interview must: cease questioning until the union representative arrives; cancel or postpone… Continue Reading

Weingarten 101: Recognizing an Investigatory Interview and When to Exercise Your Rights

Posted in Public Employee Discipline

This particular post was drafted by Michael P. DeRose. As stated in a previous post, Michael is a paralegal employed with the Law Offices of Arpaia & Crivelli, L.L.C. Michael will be leaving the office in August, 2008, for purposes of attending Law School in Michigan. While we are very sad to see him leave, we are excited… Continue Reading