Demoted Officer Reinstated as Sergeant

Officer stripped of his rank settled a lawsuit against the town to regain his sergeant's stripes.

It appears brighter days have come for a Parsippany Police officer who last year said he suffered "undue humiliation" at the hands of the department he serves. Political officials, law enforcement leadership and officers were on hand at Town Hall Wednesday morning as Officer Robert Whiteman was reinstated as a sergeant.

Among those in the audience were Township Councilman Paul Carifi Jr., Business Administrator Jasmine Lim, Animal Control Supervisor Chris Dikovics, freeholders John Cesaro and Ann Grossi and Police Capt. and school board member-elect James Carifi.

Without preamble, the swearing-in took place in less than 10 minutes. After a mostly casually dressed crowd was seated, Mayor James Barberio entered Council Chambers with Police Chief Anthony DeZenzo.

"Let's get started," Barberio said.

With that, the mayor administered the oath of office to Whiteman, who was surrounded by his family.

Immediately afterward, Glenn St. John was sworn in as a public safety communicator, a.k.a. police dispatcher.

In May 2011, from sergeant to patrolman, was “illegally suspended” for six months and was assigned a junior officer shirt badge. He said he also was pulled from patrol duty.

Whiteman's legal action accused the defendants of “purposely causing him undue humiliation and anguish.” 

An email from Whiteman's attorney said the 22-year Parsippany Police veteran had sought $750,000 in damages and a promotion to lieutenant. A 2012 settlement of the suit netted  Whiteman $80,000 in back pay and paved the way for Wednesday's ceremony.

According to NJ.com, the demotion was the result of a 2002 incident involving an alleged violation of Miranda rights on a call in which Whiteman was involved, but was not one of the first officers on the scene. 

Asked whether the reinstatement of his rank as sergeant was vindication, Whiteman paused for a moment.

"This is just a very good day," he said.

g December 05, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Is it the policy of the Parsippany police department to treat all police officers as being guilty until proven innocent???? Did he get a hearing? Was he read his Miranda rights? Did the department have a vendetta against this police officer??
resident December 05, 2012 at 09:01 PM
G, 1 -- If you have been following this story from the onset, which has been many years now, you will learn that he was found guilty by the Superior Court of violating peoples CIVIL RIGHTS, and the whole case was thrown out of court. ( Can you say Law Suit ) 2 - Yeah he did get a department hearing. He did not violate Criminal Law so to speak so he does not get Miranda .. 3- Did the department have a vendetta against him. Maybe but at least he was not fired. And he should of been.
Todd M. Finchler December 06, 2012 at 02:42 AM
I have known Sgt. Whiteman for many years. He has been active in the community for decades - from his days at PHS to his service as a police officer to coaching youth sports programs like PAL Football and Par-Troy East Little League. He devotes a lot of time to the PAL - much of it unnoticed. He is a good person - and regardless of what some anonymous people think about political stuff - I know Parsippany is well served by police officers like Bob.
eric December 06, 2012 at 12:12 PM
He must have been a honest by the book officer that's why they wanted him out . Glad to see your back Sgt. Whiteman
clyde donovan December 06, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Read the story and look at the gang using our police department to play politics.


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