Paterson Top Stories

Accused City Cop Gets $6,173 in OT While on Desk Duty


PATERSON, NJ - While assigned to desk duty because of criminal charges filed against him, Paterson Police Lt. Patrick Papagni has collected $6,173.38 in overtime, according to city payroll records. During the three months after the charges were filed against him, Papagni also received $1,619.22 in extra pay for being assigned to a night shift, the payroll records show.

Papagni was placed on desk duty and required to surrender his police department weapon on October 12 after being charged with aggravated assault with a weapon for allegedly pointing his gun at his girlfriend and dragging her out of her house.

The case remains under investigation by the Passaic County prosecutor's office, according to Gina Pfund, the head of that agency's domestic violence unit. The charges have not yet gone to a grand jury.

Sign Up for E-News

Police Chief James Wittig decided in October to put Papagni, who previously had served as Wittig's chief of staff, on restricted duty instead of suspending him. At the time, city police officials would not say exactly why Papagni was kept on the payroll while other Paterson officers facing criminal offenses, including one accused of possession of child pornography and another charged with official misconduct, were suspended.  The decision on each case is based on the individual circumstances, they said.

If suspended, Papagni would not have been paid for the first 30 days and then he would have been placed on paid administrative leave after that, under the provisions of police officers' contract.

Between October 15 and January 15, Papagni was paid $26,525.82 in straight time salary for 480 hours, according to payroll records provided to through an Open Public Records Act request.. The records show he also received $461.53 in detective pay, $5,397.48 in longevity pay, $7,478.22 in benefits to go along with the night differential and 61 hours in overtime pay. Papagni's total compensation during the three months was $40,177.42, the records show.

Police Director Glenn Brown confirmed on Monday that Papagni's desk duty status has not changed since October. "Why would it?'' Brown said.

When asked why a police officer on desk duty would receive overtime, Brown said, "I'm not aware of any overtime.'' He added, "I haven't seen anything come across my desk for it.'''

Deputy Police Chief William Fraher said he was not familiar with the records provided to "I'm not going to comment on something I haven't seen,'' he said. "It's not our policy to discuss personnel issues,'' Fraher added.

When asked about Papagni's night differential, Fraher said anyone whose shift covers evening hours is entitled to that extra pay, whether the officer is on patrol or desk duty. The night differential boosted Papagni's pay rate by $3.37 per hour.

Prior to being placed on desk duty, Papagni was a supervisor handling the police department's special events and extra duty assignments. He apparently is still in that position. "They schedule jobs around the clock,'' Fraher said.

There had been some question last fall as to whether there would be a conflict for the Passaic County prosecutor's office to handle Papagni's case because his former wife, Maura, is an investigator in the prosecutor’s office and his former brother-in-law, J. Patrick McCabe, is an assistant prosecutor.

But authorities decided that Papagni's relatives would be “walled off” from the investigation.



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Tue, July 24, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza


Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar


Tue, July 31, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 19, 2018

Eliminates Prior Approval for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Medications; Counseling Options to be Expanded

July 16, 2018

(TRENTON) – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 12, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Big Plans for Small Park in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK, NJ- An under-utilized pocket park on Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward has become a symbol of what can be accomplished in neighborhoods throughout the city through effective public-private partnerships. 

The park’s supporters have big plans for the public space, located directly across the street from the busy North Ward Center, located in an historic ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...

RU Ready for Rutgers Football? Tickets on Sale

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...