CALDWELL, NJ — As per a resolution adopted on Dec. 18, the Caldwell town council voted to terminate the employment of Police Lt. Michael Geary effective immediately.
In the absence of council members Capozzoli and O’Donnell, the four remaining council members voted unanimously to support the recommendation of the hearing officer, who had been hired by the borough, for reasons related to charges filed against him by the Chief of Police James Bongiorno. The chief’s charges included “violation of police department policies, rules and regulations, as well as for conduct unbecoming a superior officer, neglect of duty and failure to perform duties.”
Geary has been suspended from work since November 30, 2018 and began his employment in June of 2004. The lieutenant has a pending lawsuit against Caldwell and its police chief, claiming in court documents that he was “abused, harassed and persecuted for more than a decade.” The lawsuit further claims that Bongiorno created a “hostile work environment wrought with favoritism, retaliation and racial discrimination.”
Approximately 20 police officers attended the public portion of the council meeting, but declined to comment. It is expected that Geary’s attorney Patrick Toscano will be amending the lawsuit to now include “wrongful termination.”
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