MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Seven weeks after placing Police Chief Robert Cimino on paid leave for his part in police misconduct following the July 5, 2016 fireworks, Maplewood Township officials are close to a deal with Cimino that will likely lead to his retirement, sources said.

And such an agreement could be announced as soon as tonight’s Maplewood Township Committee (TC) meeting.

One option being negotiated has Cimino remaining on paid leave through the end of 2017, but no details are forthcoming yet.

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Cimino and Police Captain Joshua Cummis were both placed on paid administrative leave August 1, just days after audio and video recordings from July 5, 2016 were released showing police had apparently abused some residents following that night’s fireworks display. The governing body also asked Cimino to resign.

Six officers were disciplined for their actions on July 5, 2016, including one who was suspended for 20 days.

The TC appointed Acting Capt. Jimmy DeVaul as the new acting police chief on August 1, along with Lieutenant Albert Sally as a new acting captain.

The Township has also hired an outside consultant, Hillard Heintze of Chicago, to review the July 5 incidents and the township’s overall police procedures. That report is expected before the end of September.

The TC announced two weeks ago that Cummis was retiring with more than $37,000 in compensation, but no agreement for Cimino’s departure has been revealed.

As TAPinto SOMA reported last month, forcing Cimino or any police chief to resign can be costly and time-consuming. The Township is likely choosing to negotiate a retirement agreement to expedite his departure at the lowest cost.

The Township Committee on Sept. 5 unanimously approved a resolution that gives Cummis $37,218.27 in compensation, including more than $14,000 in compensatory time and more than $22,000 in vacation credits. 

Tonight’s meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Maplewood Police and Courts building, 1618 Springfield Ave.

 

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