Parsippany-Troy Hills police officer Robert Whiteman is suing the township and the governing body, which the suit describes as the mayor and town council.
The suit, which was filed with the Morristown Superior Court on May 6, claims Whiteman was “illegally demoted” from sergeant to patrolman, was “illegally suspended” for six months and was assigned a junior officer shirt badge, which the suit describes as “purposely causing him undue humiliation and anguish.”
According to an email from Nancy Toscano, of The Toscano Law Firm representing Whiteman, the officer seeks $750,000 in damages and a promotion to lieutenant. Toscano also said the suit has changed since being filed, and no longer names the police chief as a defendant, as it did originally.
The suit includes several other claims, including that Whiteman was not allowed to teach D.A.R.E. and was no longer allowed to perform patrol duties outside of police headquarters.
“Prior to filing the within lawsuit, we tried in earnest to settle all issues dealing with my client," Whiteman's attorney, Patrick P. Toscano Jr. said in a statement.
"He is an excellent police officer in his own right, dedicated to the badge with a sterling reputation within law enforcement circles.”
According to the statement, Toscano said “discovery will reveal that both his demotion and suspension was violative of state statute and New Jersey State Attorney General Guidelines.”
“He looks forward to his day in court,” the statement read.
According to NJ.com, the disciplinary action dates back to a 2002 incident involving an alleged violation of Miranda rights on a call that Whiteman was involved in, but was not one of the first officers on the scene.
Mayor James Barberio and township attorney John Inglesino were not immediately available to comment and the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department declined to comment on Friday morning.