Law & Justice

Mathis Will Continue To Litigate For Reinstatement as Chief of Police

August 3, 2014 at 7:04 AM

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - "Today's court ruling was not in my favor to actively remain in my position. This was an emergent application to currently stay and lead the department. Litigation will continue as it is my goal to once again serve and protect the fine residents of Berkeley Heights as their Chief of Police," stated former Berkeley Heights Chief of Police Mike Mathis per a statement on Facebook regarding Thursday's court ruling. 

This statement comes after the ruling by Judge Mark Ciarrocca denied Mathis, who was seeking temporary restraints reinstating him to the position of Chief of the Township of Berkeley Heights Police Department.

Ciarrocca stated in the ruling that Mathis failed to demonstrate clearly or convincingly evidence a reasonable probability of success on the merits of his claim for reinstatement as the Chief of Police.

Sign Up for E-News

In addition, the ruling stated that Mathis failed to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the Mayor lacks the authority to unilaterally accept the Chief of Police's resignation as set forth in the protocols of the Berkeley Heights Township Municipal Code. Stating that the Mayor is the appropriate authority over the police division. 

The Court further finds that Mathis has not satisfied his burden of proof with respect to demonstrating an actual, immediate, and imminent threat of irreparable harm that is neither remote nor speculative. 

The Court found that reinstatement would impose a significant hardship on the township. 

Mathis, who has more than 29 years of service with the Berkeley Heights Police Department, last four as Chief, sent an email to the Mayor on June 16 advising his intent to retire from the Berkeley Heights Police Department effective July 1. Stating, "I will provide a formal letter of resignation in regard to this matter but this email shall serve as notice."

Mayor Joe Bruno later had a conversation with Mathis regarding the underlying issues behind this, leading to a heated exchange among the parties. The underlying issues are regarding policy debates involving ordinances regarding the police department as well as the compensation of the chief.

Bruno reached out to Mathis the following day to inquire as to whether Mathis intended to resign per his June 16 email. This is when Mathis allegedly responded affirmatively "Adios, a**hole" and hung up. This is not Mathis' recollection according to his attorney Vito Gagliardi.

Within an hour of that conversation, Bruno emailed the members of the Township Council advising the council that he accepts the "resignation due to retirement" of Chief Mathis. 

Approximately two hours later, Mathis responded to the email confirming his resignation stating that he regretfully leaves due to the lack of respect shown by Mayor Bruno and Councilman Woodruff.  

At the June 24 Township Council meeting, there was no "resignation" by Mathis before the Council for consideration. Mathis, thereafter, reconsidered his decision to retire and ultimately withdrew his retirement application with the Division of Pensions and Benefits. 

Mathis met with Bruno and communicated his decision to remain employed as Chief of Police, and sent an email attempting to retract his resignation on June 25. On June 30, Bruno emailed Mathis to "memorialize" prior conversations that his resignation had been accepted effective July 1.

When Mathis reported to work on July 1, he was advised that Captain Schafer was the "Officer-In-Charge" and the Acting Chief of Police on an interim basis as set forth in an Executive Order dated June 27, 2014. Mathis was removed from payroll and relinquished his service weapon, Township-issued vehicle, and key to his office, pending the results of this matter by court. Since, Lt. John DiPasquale has been appointed Officer in Charge.

Mathis claims that his removal from his position as Chief of Police was unlawful feeling that this attempt at removing him from his position without due process violates the Police Chief's Bill of Rights and further contends that the Mayor's actions violates his constitutional due process of rights.

Jim Patterson, the attorney for Bruno and the Township, argued that Mathis' resignation was made and accepted with due consideration by the Mayor who had full authority to do so.

Bruno had previously informed TAP into Berkeley Heights, "I am amicable to settle the remaining matters out of court."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Speaker Ryan Signs Lance Bill

December 4, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07), Vice Chair of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, today joined U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan as he signed off on Lance’s  Consumer Review Fairness Act.  Lance’s consumer protection legislation passed both the House and U.S. Senate and now heads to President Obama.  The legislation will allow ...

Registration Begins Next Week for Indoor Riding Lessons at Lord Stirling Stable in Basking Ridge

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Winter weather doesn't have to mean the end of horseback riding for equestrians in Basking Ridge and nearby. The Somerset County Park Commission has announced that registration will begin next Saturday, Dec. 10, for a 10-week session of Winter Horseback Riding Classes at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.

Lessons are ...

Holiday Specials for Personal Training

Stay active this winter and get in shape for the spring!  Whether you are looking for a meaningful gift or a way to get healthy, the Summit Area YMCA has a variety of options that will be sure to help you and your family reach your goals this winter season! Take advantage of our holiday personal training specials available at both the Summit YMCA and Berkeley Heights YMCA to get healthy and ...

Cures Bill Passes, Securing Lance Victories

 Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today hailed passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in the U.S. House.  Lance, the chair of the Congressional Rare Disease Caucus and a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Committee, praised the landmark bill which has been two years in the making:

“This legislation is for anyone who has lost a loved one from cancer,  had a ...

Letter to the Editor by Edmund Tom Maciejewski

December 4, 2016

Dear Editor,


In accordance with a ballot question that was passed in November 2005, Berkeley Heights switched from a Township Committee form to a Mayor-Council-Administrator form of government under the Faulkner Act or OMCL ( Optional Municipal Charter Law ).

There are 4 categories of municipalities under the Faulkner Act. The Mayor-Council-Administrator form that was chosen by ...

BH Town Council, Where's the Zero?

To the editor: 

In a recent Mayor’s Roundtable, the town council mentioned that Berkeley Heights uses zero-based budgeting. The Nov 17, 2016 stream of the Mayor's Roundtable explained the budgeting process and made it clear that Berkeley Heights is not using ZBB by any definition of the term.  

Our council used to have five or six budget review meetings to publicly go ...

Unwanted guests leave a bad taste

Dear Editor,

Last Friday night, six friends gathered at a local Italian restaurant to catch up about the week's surprise events and enjoy each other's company.   Our dinner was interrupted by a surprise serving of bigotry and intolerance.

A different couple, strangers who had just ended their dinner, approached our table and interjected their opposing views on the ...

My Epic Beauty Fails

One day as I was looking around a high-end cosmetics store for a new lipstick, a “beauty expert” approached me and said that I was so stunning I should forget the lipstick, and get a lip plumper instead. At first I wondered why I needed a lip plumper if I was already so stunning. But then I thought, “Now here is someone wearing a badge that says, ‘beauty expert,’ so ...

The Mayor's Roundtable November Edition

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Mayor's Round Table is a monthly show hosted by Dr. Donald DeFabio, who sits with Mayor Robert Woodruff to talk about current issues that affect the township as well as answer questions submitted by citizens. 

Included in this episode are discussions regarding the next step to creating a Peppertown Park committee; Board of Education ...

Shannon's six week transformation story

Shannon just finished her 6 Week Transformation, here were her results: 

Dropped 2 Pant sizes
Energy Level went from a 2 to a 9
Confidence level from a 5 to a 9

She was very happy and satisfied with these results, but the best result was taking her focus off the scale! For years Shannon only measured her success for her health by weight loss.

When we sat down in the ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, December 4, 5:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Merry Fitness – A Program To Get You Through The ...

Health & Wellness


Sun, December 4, 10:00 AM

ReNew Salon and Spa, Gillette

Take Care of Yourself This Holiday Season at ...

Health & Wellness


Sun, December 4, 11:00 AM

Bryant Park, Summit

Ugly Sweater Family Fun Run

Food & Drink Health & Wellness


Sun, December 4, 12:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Mah Jongg

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, December 4, 1:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Jewelry Sale to benefit the Friends of the Summit ...

Giving Back Green Other


Sun, December 4, 1:00 PM


Open House - 8 Christy Lane, Springfield, NJ

Real Estate

Which is Best: Lump Sum or Pension Annuity?

Is a lump sum offer from an employer a better choice than a pension annuity for life? The former provides an immediate up-front amount (say $300,000), but the pension annuity gives you a stream of payments for life (example: $1,350 per month). A number of employers dangle a lump sum offer to employees in part to remove future liabilities from their balance sheets. It’s tempting for ...

Chris Brown Named President at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties is proud to announce the appointment of Chris Brown to President of the 21-office real estate brokerage headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. Previously serving as Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager, Brown is a member of the company’s ownership team along with Bill Keleher, Seymour and Nancy Litwin, and Steve Janett.

Local Students Lend a Hand at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Gov. Livingston seniors Hannah Probst and Gillian Mitreuter walk in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade for the second yea.. Last year they were a part of the 'All star' baseball clown group and this year they were a part of the first ever Girl Scout float group.

"It was such an honor walking with the Girl Scout's inaugural float as we were both Girl Scouts ...