Union County News

Mountainside Officials: We Knew Nothing About Allegations Until Lawsuit was Filed

Mountainside Police Lieutenant Thomas Murphy and Police Chief Allan Attanasio. Credits: TAPinto Archive

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The mayor and council of Mountainside have gone on record stating they had no knowledge of the incidents alleged in the lawsuit filed on May 11 against the borough “until the filing of the lawsuit.”

The borough has also “retained former New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph Santiago” to help restore public trust in the department, according to a statement published on the borough's website on June 5 by the mayor and council.

The statement asserts the “recent news stories alleging some outrageous behavior involving our police department do not reflect the values of Mountainside, the Mayor and Council, and its residents”

Sign Up for E-News

The lawsuit filed by five police officers and one part-time employee against the borough alleges two long-time officers and the police chief engaged in salacious, unprofessional, discriminatory, and potentially dangerous behavior targeted at specific officers and the employee, in their workplace over a number of years. A more complete report on the lawsuit can be found here.

The fallout from the lawsuit has led to two officers and the police chief being placed on leave.

Lt. Joseph Giannuzzi was named officer in charge of the department. 

The mayor and council have “asked the former Assistant U.S. Attorney William Maderer to expand his current investigation to include” the allegations in the lawsuit, according to the statement. He is expected to file a report that “may result in formal disciplinary charges against Chief Allan Attanasio, Lieutenant Thomas Murphy, and Detective Sergeant Andrew Huber,” within a few weeks, according to the statement.  

The borough is also cooperating with the investigation being conducted by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office on the allegations within the lawsuit.  

The complete statement, which can be found on the borough’s website, reads:  

As Mayor and Council, we want to be clear that recent news stories alleging some outrageous behavior involving our police department do not reflect the values of Mountainside, the Mayor and Council, and its residents. We are committed to reinforcing the values and code of conduct we expect from every Borough employee and we will, as quickly as possible, remove any individual who does not represent Mountainside in a professional manner. We have asked former Assistant U.S. Attorney William Maderer to expand his current investigation to include allegations in the recent lawsuit which we did not know about until the filing of the lawsuit. Within the next few weeks, we expect Mr. Maderer to provide a report regarding conduct that may result in formal disciplinary charges against Chief Allan Attanasio, Lieutenant Thomas Murphy, and Detective Sergeant Andrew Huber.  The Union County Prosecutor’s Office has begun its own investigation into allegations in the lawsuit, and we are cooperating in all respects.   The officers have been put on leave in accordance with New Jersey law.  Our insurance carrier has agreed that the Borough be represented by Christine Amalfe of the Gibbons law firm in Newark.  Ms. Amalfe is a highly experienced labor and employment attorney.  Lt. Joseph Giannuzzi is now the officer in charge of the Police Department. He reports that the Department is functioning well and that all police matters are being attended to as required. As Mayor and Council, we are taking immediate action to restore public trust in our Police Department and its practices. We have retained former New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph Santiago, who has an extensive track record of reforming and reorganizing municipal police departments throughout the State. This is an important step for the future of Mountainside. While we welcome your questions, our attorneys have advised us to refrain from commenting on specific allegations or claims. We will try to be as transparent as possible, but our answers must be somewhat constrained while this matter remains in active litigation and there is an ongoing investigation. We are proud to represent the residents of Mountainside and will provide additional updates as we are able to do so.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Dozens of Dogs Rescued from Squalor in Roselle, According to Authorities

June 20, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ — A Roselle man will be charged with multiple criminal offenses after more than 40 dogs were discovered living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last week, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

According to the authorities, members of those two agencies, ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, June 19

June 20, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Good evening everyone! It’s been another busy two weeks with lots of great stuff happening. These past two weeks were particularly fun because I spent lots of time with lots of kids:

-I met with Franklin third graders in Mindowaskin Park as part of their day-long ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, June 21, 7:30 PM

Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Westfield Summer Concert Series

Arts & Entertainment


Fri, June 22, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...


Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Westfield Police Blotter: Criminal Mischief to Vehicles Continues & More

June 20, 2018

June 13, 2018 9:24 a.m.

Officer Santangelo arrested Hakan Kaya, age 46, of Westfield, New Jersey on an outstanding warrant (#E19490) in the amount of $304.00 out of Neptune City Municipal Court pursuant to turning himself in at WPD Headquarters. Subject was processed and released after posting the full bail amount.


June 13, 2018 11:02 a.m.

Lieutenant McFarlean and Officer ...

Flowers Welcome Visitors to Downtown Westfield

June 21, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Central Avenue is in full bloom once again with Queen of Balcon Ivy geraniums thanks to the efforts of William Nursery, Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC), and the Town of Westfield Department of Public Works.

Downtown Westfield Corporation annually funds the downtown flowers as part of their "Westfield in Bloom" beautification efforts and Williams ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...

Understand the New Law for Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave is now the law in New Jersey.

New Jersey has passed a paid sick leave law which preempts paid sick leave ordinances adopted by several cities and towns so there is now one uniform law in this area for New Jersey employers. Here is what you need to know about the new law.

33 Homes Sold June 10 to June 17 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Thirty-three Homes sold from June 10 to June 17, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*


TOWN         ADDRESS                      STYLE    ...

Westfield 3rd Graders Receive Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition

Westfield third graders recently received top honors for three mock court cases they presented at the New Jersey Bar Foundation Law Fair.

“I am proud that, out of 84 entries submitted, our third grade students (now fourth graders) in the Gifted Program have won 1st Place, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention in the 3rd Grade category [of the Law Fair ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down for 2 Hours After Fight Breaks Out

June 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported after a fight involving a crowd of people shut down the Bridgewater Commons Mall for two hours Thursday evening.

According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall was resuming normal business operations.

According to Somerset County ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more