Filed January 2010
Today, we present the last case in the Settlement Project: Employee Edition. Today's case isn't a settlement — but rather a particularly noteworthy pending case, which involves political retaliation.
Two days ago, we provided information on Buono v. Newark (Day 10: Anthony Buono v. City of Newark), where a police lieutenant suffered a string of retaliatory incidents for his support of Mayor Cory Booker. It shows what can happen when rather than conducting police business professionally and according to merit, police leaders instead allow an officer's support of a particular politician to damage his or her career. Today's case involves another retaliation complaint, but this one was because of the support of Cory Booker's opponents.
Glenn Camuso was a captain in the Newark Police Department (NPD) who, in 2007, was made an Acting Deputy Chief in charge of the NPD's Policy and Finance Bureau. By the fall of 2008, he was still designated (and paid) as an "Acting" Deputy Chief, although state regulations generally forbid the use of "acting" titles. In March 2009, the police director abolished his position and demoted him to captain, even through there was a valid promotion list still in effect, along with vacancies in Deputy Chief positions. Camuso alleges this was because of bias about which political candidates he supported. Specifically, Camuso had contributed to the Sharpe James campaigns in 2002 and 2006, and had backed council candidates who were opponents of Booker. An aide to Booker, Joaquin Caceres, allegedly told Camuso that he was a "Sharpe James guy" and that therefore Booker would not make a promotion but instead await the issuance of a new Deputy Chief promotional list. Camuso also said that racial discrimination played a role in the City's failure to promote him.
Camuso sued in January 2010 and his case (ESX-L-767-10) remains pending. None of his claims have yet been proven or disproven in a court of law; at this time, they are simply allegations.
More to Come
Check back with us in a few weeks (or sign up to receive notification), when we begin the Settlement Project: Civilians' Edition. Through the ACLU-NJ's efforts to collect and share newsworthy public information, you will be able to read about some of the 23 recently-settled cases against the NPD involving civilians, where people received payouts totaling over $750,000 from the City because of some kind of police misconduct. These cases include some claims of truly reprehensible brutality, false arrest, malicious prosecution, and negligence.
- Camuso - Complaint Excerpt (1.5mb PDF)