DeCotiis News

Congratulations to DeCotiis Attorneys Louis N. Rainone, Victoria A. Flynn and Steven C. Mannion for their win on behalf of Edison Township officials Court upholds Edison chief's suspension until administrative hearing on April 15

Louis N. Rainone, the labor attorney for Edison Township successfully argues on Monday as, from left, Raquel S. Lord, Edison Police Chief Tom Bryan, and Vito A. Gagliardi Jr., watch on. Bryan's March 22 suspension was upheld by Judge Travis L. Frances in Superior Court. He may waive his right to an administrative hearing on April 15 and return to Superior Court to have the township's charges heard. / STAFF AUGUSTO F. MENEZES

NEW BRUNSWICK - Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan remains suspended, but with pay, after a court hearing Monday in which he sought reinstatement to his post.

Bryan was suspended without pay on March 22 for insubordination and disrespect regarding transfers, discipline and layoffs ordered within the police division by Dennis Gonzalez, the township's business administrator and director of its newly formed administration department. Bryan's subsequently was reinstated pending a disciplinary hearing on April 15. The penalty may be a two-week suspension without pay.

Superior Court Judge Travis L. Frances decided that while numerous issues exist between Bryan and defendants Edison Township, Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano and Gonzalez, they could be heard in the disciplinary hearing without compromising the police division during the suspension.

However, Frances said, "It would not be equitable for the court to overturn the mayor's decision before the administrative hearing.''

One of the deciding factors, Frances said, was that the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office on Monday seized all of the police division's internal affairs files for safekeeping.

Concerned about the integrity of ongoing internal affairs investigations, Bryan called the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office to do an inventory of the files immediately after he was suspended. The prosecutor's office did the inventory the next day with the cooperation of Deputy Chief Carmelo Vaticano, who is running the division during the chief's suspension. None of the files were compromised at the time, the prosecutor's office determined, and now remain under its watch until the legal dispute is settled.

"The compromise of the internal affairs files has been adequately addressed,'' Frances said.

Bryan's suit also stated that his personal reputation had been harmed by the suspension, but Frances pointed to a 1977 case between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the state that founded while business reputations may be harmed as a result of job suspensions, personal reputations can not be harmed.

"Web Editor’s Note: The above article is a replication from The law firm of DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole would like to point out the proper spelling of Superior Court Judge Travis L. Francis' name. Thank you for your understanding."

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