Hoboken police chief sues mayor and city of Hoboken
Mar 20, 2013 | 2694 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

HOBOKEN—Hoboken Chief of Police Anthony Falco has filed a lawsuit against Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the city of Hoboken. The lawsuit, which was filed in Federal Court in Newark on Monday according to a news outlet, claims that both personal and political grudges have led to unfair practices and inappropriate behavior during Falco’s tenure.

The 42-page complaint lists 25 counts of wrongdoing by the mayor, including compensation and insurance issues, “undermining the chief’s authority within the Hoboken Police Department by disregarding the chain of command and the statutory authority of the cvhief” as well as interfering with hiring and layoff decisions of the Hoboken Police Department.

Falco, who has been a member of the Hoboken Police Department for 42 years, was appointed chief of police in 2009.

The lawsuit also discusses compensation and insurance issues stating that “the chief does not even know how many vacation days he is entitled to per year, or whether he will continue to enjoy health insurance or other retiree benefits upon retirement; yet these items are spelled out in collective bargaining agreements covering every other member of the force, and were specified in prior agreements between the city and Chief Falco’s predecessors.”

The complaint also says that the mayor and the city have violated Chief Falco’s procedural due process rights in connection with his compensation, by reducing his compensation through the denial of a clothing allowance, sick incentive, and credit for overtime hours without written notice or hearing.

The complaint blames both personal and political grudges held by the mayor.

“The mayor’s conduct is not based on any meritorious ground, but rather upon personal animus towards him,” the suit says.

The suit also recalls a late night hit-and-run that resulted in the death of Mayor Zimmer’s father-in-law in or around April 2005, which then-Captain Falco was the lead investigator responsible. The Hoboken Police Department was not able to solve the case, which “Zimmer blames Falco personally for this failure,” the complaint says.

“This is a personnel matter and ongoing litigation so I cannot comment. But on a personal note, I find it extremely unfortunate that police chief Falco has introduced my father-in-law’s tragic hit-and-run death into a lawsuit about his own compensation,” Zimmer said.

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