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Random Notes on NJ Government

Morris County township settled disciplinary case against cop by allowing him to resign in good standing. Township also paid cop for accumulated time and gave him and his family postretirement health benefits.

According to a February 20, 2019 settlement agreement, the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills (Morris County) agreed to withdraw a Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action it had filed against a Township police officer on September 11, 2018 in exchange for the officer’s resignation from the force.  The agreement also required the Township to pay the officer “$11,062.49 for all accumulated compensatory time off in lieu of paid overtime” and “provide him and his dependents postretirement health benefits . . . if he chooses to file for retirement at the same time as his resignation.”  If a prospective employer inquires, the agreement requires the Township to “only advise that [the officer] resigned in good standing pending retirement, his dates of employment and salary as of February 1, 2019.”  For his part, the officer agreed not to sue the Township.

The officer at issue is James Schicke who, according to the agreement, “has been employed as a Patrolman by the Township since July 27, 1998.”  After resigning effective March 1, 2019, Schicke obtained employment on May 14, 2019 as a part-time Special Law Enforcement Officer II (SLEO II) for the Borough of Mountain Lakes (Morris County) at $26.33 per hour.

The Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council, which approved the settlement as part of its consent agenda at its February 19, 2019 meeting, didn’t list Schicke’s name on the meeting agenda.  Rather, the meeting’s agenda referred to the matter as “a Settlement Agreement Pertaining to Employee P.S.”

No information is available on the nature of the disciplinary charge against Schicke. Documents pertaining to police disciplinary matters are exempt under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

By John Paff

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project