Law & Justice

Jury Rules in Favor of Edison, Dismisses Retired Police Officers Claims

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The jury found in favor of Edison in the suit brought against them by a former police captain.

Retired Edison Police Captain Michael Palko claimed that he was victim of age discrimination and political retaliation which forced him to retire after serving 35 years in July 2013.

The case was heard by Superior Court Judge Douglas Wolfson with a Middlesex County jury and a verdict was delivered shortly after the three trail concluded.

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The jury ruled in favor of the township and the case was dismissed.

"The township agrees with this jury verdict, which validates our Administration’s approach to these lawsuits," Edison Business Administrator Maureen Ruane said.

Police Chief Thomas Bryan testified in court Monday that for years officers were required to make political contributions to Democratic candidates in the township in order to receive promotions, according to an article in myCentralJersey.com.

New Jersey election records indicate that Michael Palko made $1445 in individual political contributions to various Democrat candidates between 1997 and 2009.

Edison Township has gone to court over numerous cases filed by members of the police department in the past and is now in court with an Edison firefighter claiming discrimination.

"This Administration has committed itself to vigorously defending claims that lack merit, and to resolving other claims at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers," Ruane added.

Edison firefighter Timothy Eosso is claiming the town failed to provide reasonable accommodations for his attention deficit disorder. He further claims, Fire Chief Brian Latham harassed and discriminated against him because of ADD.

Edison Township released the following statement regarding Firefighter Eosso.

“Although the Township does not usually comment on pending litigation, comment is necessary in this instance. Firefighter Eosso made various complaints that were fully investigated. After that investigation concluded, at Mr. Eosso’s request, meetings were arranged with the Fire Chief, Business Administrator, the Township Attorney and the Mayor in an effort to address his concerns. Despite the fact that no obligation existed, the Township offered Mr. Eosso numerous options to address his alleged concerns. Unfortunately, no reasonable option offered to Mr. Eosso was acceptable to him. Accordingly, this matter will be vigorously defended and the Township looks forward to the inevitable dismissal of this action. Although, we regret having to incur defense costs, the Township did everything reasonable to avoid this lawsuit.”

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