MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Maplewood Police Capt. Joshua Cummis, who was placed on leave following outrage related to police activities on July 5, 2016, has withdrawn plans to retire at the end of August, prompting the Maplewood Township Committee to move forward with a resolution ensuring he will leave by Sept. 30.
During a special meeting of the Maplewood Township Committee on Monday, August 21, Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca addressed the reason for the meeting, which was the passage of Resolution 161-17.
The resolution was in regard to the administrative leave of Capt. Joshua Cummis, and extends the leave to September 30, instead of it concluding on August 31. The reason for the extension if that the Township had an understanding that Capt. Cummis would retire as of September 1, 2017. However, Cummis has withdrawn his retirement papers, and the resolution was to prevent him from coming back to work on September 1.
The Maplewood Township Committee attorney, Roger Desiderio, stated that he has been in contact with the attorney for Cummis and there is currently no definitive status other than that the attorney has agreed to waive the first reading of the resolution. Cummis withdrew his retirement papers because of uncertainty concerning the effect upon his retirement benefits, and Desiderio stated that he is continuing to work towards a resolution.
There was discussion regarding the ability of the Township Committee to terminate Cummis's employment. The Essex County Prosecutors Office had the issue referred to it on September 8, 2016, and issued its findings on March 30, 2017, stating no further action would be taken by the Prosecutors Office.
The resolution to have Cummis continue on leave, and not return to work on September 1, was passed unanimously.
Just prior to adjourning the meeting, DeLuca stated that there is currently no new information on the status of Police Chief Robert Cimino, and that the Township Committee will discuss the situation in a closed session at their meeting on September 5.