PARSIPPANY, NJ - James Carifi, a onetime Parsippany police captain, just filed hisfifth suit against the township. And on Tuesday night, he came to the township council meeting to discuss it. Or at least try to. When Carifi stepped to the podium during the public portion of the meeting, James Lott, the township attorney, mindful of the litigation, cautioned the mayor and council not to engage the former cop in a verbal battle.
Undaunted, Carifi played a recording of Mayor Michael Soriano saying at a previous meeting that Carifi had been targeted by the previous administration.
So Carifi wanted to know the documents the mayor reviewed to reach that conclusion. He also asked who was targeting and retaliating
Carifi urged the mayor to eschew the attorney's guidance and take his own advice. In other words, to speak freely.
Soriano didn't bite. Sticking with the lawyer's advice, Soriano didn't answer directly, but he did say that he "stood by" his previous comments. Carifi then went into a blunt condemnation of the Soriano Administration, recalling that the mayor had pledged to "clean up" Parsippany. Carifi opined that the only cleaning up is being done by the mayor's friends and acolytes, referring to a number of what he said were purely political hires.
Soriano responded briefly, saying that Carifi should check the resumes of the people hired, suggesting all were qualified. He also said that the council, not only him, approved some of their benefit packages. Carifi has not only tangled with the council in court. Last June, he ran against three GOP council members, including his brother, Paul, in the Republican primary. He got about 1,200 votes, about 280 short of what he needed to win.
Carifi's latest suit claims he deserves about $426,000 in unused sick, vacation and other compensatory time. Of his other suits, three are on
appeal; one has been dismissed.
Editor's Note: One of Mr. Carifi's comment mentioned that the hiring of Mr. Kazmark's friend, the new PAL Director (who also emcees Kazmark's town's fundraisers) by Mr. Kazmark, violated town policy since he received medical benefits after only slightly more than 20 days of employment instead of the required 60-90 day wait period that every other employee is required to adhere to.