SPARTA, NJ – Mayor Jerry Murphy is continuing his litigation against Sparta Township Police Department. Last week Judge David Weaver denied Murphy's Motion to Reconsider his summary judgment against Murphy. Having lost this round, Murphy’s attorney George Daggett said he filed his appeal on Monday, February 24.
In a 16 page statement Weaver said he found Daggett’s arguments to be “unpersuasive” and in places said Daggett “appears to misinterpret” the legal precedent cited in the motion to reconsider.
Weaver confirms Officer Dan Elig had a “reasonable suspicion to pull over” Murphy in February 2016. Weaver did not seem to give weight to his attorney’s assertion that “a conspiracy bloomed” in the hours prior to Murphy getting pulled over and charged with drunk driving.
According to the police records, Murphy was stopped by Elig after the officer had followed him from Mohawk Avenue down Main Street until the Ogdensburg line. Elig said Murphy had be speeding and drifted over the white fog line.
After working through field sobriety tests, Murphy was taken to Sparta Police Department headquarters for processing. Murphy's breath test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.13%, well over the 0.08% limit.
Two years later the Hopatcong court dismissed the charges against Murphy, without explanation. On February 2, 2018, Murphy filed suit against the township police department for violation of his civil rights, malicious prosecution and false arrest.
On December 9, 2019 Weaver issued a Summary Judgment against Murphy, dismissing all charges. Daggett filed the Motion to Reconsider on December 26, 2019.
Daggett reaffirmed he is “absolutely” seeking damages from the township on behalf of Murphy. In a previous interview Daggett said the legal counsel fees for the protracted legal battle were more than $40,000.
Sparta Township Council meets Tuesday, February 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.