Law & Justice

City approves legal bill in political retribution suit

New Brunswick opened a sixth housing complex with supportive services. Credits: City of New Brunswick

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A week after the city reached a settlement with a former police lieutenant, the city council approved more funds for legal representation in another case, of business administrator Thomas Loughlin, in a suit that stretches back to 2012.

Three African American police officers, Arthur Anderson, Maurice Finney and Tony Ingram, filed suit against the city and several officials in 2012.

They alleged that they were being punished for not supporting a so-called “political machine” by Mayor James Cahill, who was listed in the suit along with Loughlin and New Brunswick Police Director Tony Caputo.

Sign Up for E-News

“As part and parcel of the political patronage system which infects the police department and possibly the whole city government, political favoritism and punishment of the disloyal have been a predominant theme in the operation of the New Brunswick Police Department for many years,” the suit reads.  

These ​alleged ​punishments came in the form of the three being passed over for promotions and frequently given undesirable assignments, such as crossing guard duty, according to the suit.

The three were patrolmen when the suit was filed, but Finney was later promoted to sergeant, while Anderson has since retired.

During a July 5 city council meeting, Loughlin referred to the allegations as a “fairy tale” by the three officers.

“As if I care what people’s political beliefs are, out of 750 employees, I chose to select three people to impose my will on because of their political beliefs,” Loughlin said. “I don’t even know what their political beliefs are. One of the individuals I’ve never met before.”

Loughlin is being represented by Christopher D. Adams of the law firm Adams Buchan & Palo. The December 6 resolution brings the legal bill up to $35,408.47.

That resolution authorizes the firm to charge $250 an hour, plus any expenses the firm incurs while doing work for the city.

The move comes a week after the city reached a $172,000 settlement with former police lieutenant Steve Middleton in a separate case against the city and several officials.

Middleton alleged racial discrimination by his superiors, which resulted in him being frequently harassed, subject to stricter punishment than his white coworkers and frequently passed over for assignments.

During his one hour of testimony, Middleton referenced the suit by Anderson, Ingram and Finney, suggesting that their plight was due to their race.

Attorneys for the city objected, saying that Middleton’s suit was a racial discrimination case, entirely different from the other officer’s suit, an employment case.

Loughlin, at the city council meeting, reiterated that the two cases were entirely separate; one was about race while the other was about employment issues.

“The complaint deals with political retribution,” Loughlin said. “While no one’s proud of either of the lawsuits, I think that distinction should be made.”

A city spokesperson declined to comment on the case since it is pending litigation. 

With Middleton’s settlement, the city’s attorneys said they were worried the jury might be tainted by testimony about the the three officers case, and were on the verge of calling for a mistrial.

They reached a settlement instead, rather than opt for the potential of a lengthy and costly court battle.

Editor Daniel J. Munoz,

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 25, 2018


TRENTON - New Jersey now has the most sweeping equal pay legislation in the nation, a terrific headline, following the governor's bill signing yesterday. The question is enforcement. Women and minorities need to know it is illegal for employers to offer them less pay and benefits than others, and that they have the full backing of the state.

The Jaffe Briefing - April 24, 2018


STATEWIDE - Yeah, yeah, New Jersey has really high taxes. And, yeah, it is super expensive to live here. So, yet another study is out, with the American Legislative Exchange Council ranking New Jersey second-to-last among states in economic performance and 46th in economic outlook, ROI-NJ reports. The study, called "Rich States, Poor ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 23, 2018


STATEWIDE - First, there was a turkey in every pot. Then there was the "Square Deal," the "New Deal" and now Sen. Cory Booker says it is time for government to offer a, uh, great deal: A job to anyone who wants one. He is proposing federal grants that would select 15 "local areas" in which adults could get a job at $15 an ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 20, 2018


ON THE ROAD - It looks like a State Police trooper is going to have to head to the bars to pick up chicks, indicted yesterday for intentionally pulling over women in a desperate attempt to land dates. Internal affairs learned the Trooper was pulling over two lovely ladies at the end of 2016, threatening to arrest them if they didn't hand over their ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 19, 2018


PLAINFIELD - Those who dabble in Union County politics are learning this morning that the former Democratic chairman, Jerry Green, has died at age 79 after a long illness. Green, a longtime assemblyman from Plainfield, rose through the ranks from serving on the freeholder board in the late 1980s.  He will be remembered as a Roselle native, a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 18, 2018


PATERSON - At campaign rallies, why not just cut to the chase? That's what's happening in the Silk City, where a local social media celebrity was handing out $20 bills to would-be voters at a rally on Sunday for mayoral contender Pedro Rodriguez. Our favorite entertainer of all time, Fatboy SSE, had a thick wad of cash, which he was passing out ...

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For Evie Shockley, poetry – and her professorship at Rutgers University–New Brunswick – are central to her engagement with a world that needs change and central to the ways she prepares students to do their own engagement.

This week, Shockley was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. The Pulitzer ...

Rutgers Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

NEW BRUNSWICK - Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy this year, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme ...

Questions now swirl around reported Rutgers theft

NEW BRUNSWICK - A crime alert issued by Rutgers police about an armed robbery on Tuesday April 10 has turned out to be false. 

Upon further investigation, police said the alleged incident in front of the Campbell Hall dorm on George Street did not happen as was initially reported. Police had said initially that the suspect showed a handgun, ordered the ...

NB Public Schools task force takes on chronic absenteeism

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Being absent for just two days each month means a student will miss 10 percent of the entire school year – enough to negatively impact that student’s academic performance.

It’s sobering information, and a clear demonstration that chronically absent students are at a tremendous educational disadvantage, one from which many of them will never recover.


Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

In 2018, KBS kicked off its latest awareness campaign designed to promote safe sleep practices and products ...

'Elementary, My Dear Watson!' Solving Mysteries with Genetic Geneaology

April 20, 2018

The next meeting of the New Brunswick Historical Society will be on Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. Andrew May will speak about Genetic Genealogy. Humans are 99.9% identical in their genetic makeup, yet, differences in 0.1% of our DNA has helped us answer questions about our recent and deep ancestral origins. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing provides the toolbox for solving difficult ...

Why People Should Visit Black Churches and Black People Should Welcome Them

March 29, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

In New Jersey, segregation is a cultural issue that demands the immediate attention of Christians. Nearly 87 percent of Christian churches in the U.S. are either made up of only white, or only African-American parishioners. When we worship in the comfortable bubble of segregation, we miss the opportunity for racial reconciliation, as mandated by Jesus:

"A ...