2 cops in Mountainside sex-toy scandal retire, could get pension
MOUNTAINSIDE — Two officers named in a lawsuit that depicts the borough police department as an animal house where the top bras sexually harassed and molested officers will retire while a third faces discipline.
Nobody has been charged with a crime in the scandal.
Mayor Paul Mirabelli and the borough council released a joint statement via the borough website announcing that police chief Allan Attanasio, who had been on paid leave since the allegations and a video surfaced in May, and Sgt. Andrew Huber have both filed papers to retire effective July 30.
Disciplinary charges were filed against Lt. Thomas Murphy, who was suspended without pay as of July 13 following a review by former Assistant U.S. Attorney William Maderer. Officials did not explain what the disciplinary charges were.
"Any decision regarding their pension rests with the State pension board and is outside the Borough’s jurisdiction," read the statement.
Mirabelli and the council members also said the incident has not had an impact on public safety in the town, citing a recent New York Times story that called the borough a "hidden treasure."
"(Officer in charge) Lt. Joseph Giannuzzi reports that the department is functioning well and that the officers are attending to all matters as required. He has been meeting with (former State Police superintendent) Joseph Santiago and his firm to discuss police department operations.
The council and Mirabelli said there is "no higher goal" than putting the incident behind them in order to celebrate "the many wonderful events that happen everyday in Mountainside."
Story continues after the video. Video contains content some may find offensive:
One video released by the firm Schiller McMahon showed Huber putting a sex toy nicknamed "Big Blue" in the face of man sitting in a chair. The clip was of many videos referenced in the 46-page lawsuit. Schiller McMahon represents another officer not involved in the suit.
The sex toy is at the center of a shocking workplace discrimination lawsuit filed by six members of the police department.
Described in the lawsuit:
— A May 2016 video shows Huber chasing Fire Chief Anthony Pecorelli around police headquarters with "Big Blue."
— Another video shows Murphy showing off his pet goats and saying that his black goats "gave him problems because they were black and he used the n-word," the lawsuit says.
— A video shows Huber cooking food at a Mountainside restaurant as Murphy tells him "throw a little wang in Pasquale's meal," which the lawsuit says is a reference to their practice of "braining" — placing testicles on unsuspecting officers' food and drink.
— In December 2002, Murphy sent officers a video showing him dressed as Santa while waving "a white dildo."
— A video shows Murphy in police headquarters simulating masturbation and fellatio with his arm "until he pantomimes being ejaculated on in the eye."
Elsewhere in the lawsuit, Huber — who is tasked with investigating officer wrongdoing — is described as often walking around naked in the restroom and throwing feces-smeared tissues at co-workers.
Murphy is also accused of shoving his flashlight up officers' butts.
The complaint, filed in May in Superior Court in Elizabeth, claims Attanasio and his predecessor, James Debbie — who retired in 2014 and was hired as the borough’s full-time business administrator — was aware of his officer's behavior and did nothing to stop it.
Debbie is still listed on the borough website as administrator and was not mentioned in the statement.