A bombshell lawsuit targeting the powerful Chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is laying bare the ugly side of politics and family.

As chairman of the Port Authority, Kevin O'Toole is one of the most powerful public officials in New Jersey. His decades as a local and state official gives him a long reach into Garden State politics and significant influence over many aspects of public policy.

O'Toole has always had a reputation as a ruthless political boss, but he was also viewed as a dedicated family man and helped relatives secure public jobs.

However, his sister, Eileen O'Toole, alleges her brother sabotaged her career with the Cedar Grove Police Department as payback for a family dispute over her daughter's wedding.

Eileen O'Toole was rising up the ranks of the Cedar Grove Police Department. When the long-time police chief retired, she says she was promised the job and was promoted to "officer-in-charge." All, presumably, with the blessing of her powerful brother.

That all changed in November of 2021 as Eileen her daughter was about to be married.

In her lawsuit, O'Toole claims there was a "family dispute" the night before the wedding, and her brother not only refused to attend the wedding, but instructed others not to attend as well.

I think he is an evil person - Robert O'Toole, father of Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole, speaking about his son (WNBC)

Eileen then alleges her brother sabotaged her promotion. She names Cedar Grove Township manager Thomas Tucci and the township council, alleging they caved to her brother's demands she be passed over for police chief.

The nature of the family dispute is not made clear in the lawsuit, and Eileen is not speaking about it publicly, but she shared text messages from her brother with WNBC-TV in New York City. One of them reads: "Eileen attacked my daughter last night, and that is unforgivable."

In an exclusive interview, Eileen told WNBC, "We had the personal dispute, and then he (Kevin) just came after me. That's what he does. He hurts people. I know he did. His way of punishing me was damaging my career."

The interview, and the lawsuit, paint a picture of an angry and vindictive brother who has now managed to estrange himself from not just his sister, but his father and mother as well.

Robert O'Toole, Kevin and Eileen's father, didn't mince words when he talked with the TV station.

"I think he is an evil person," the elder O'Toole said.

As of publication, efforts to reach Kevin O'Toole for comment have been unsuccessful.

Cedar Grove Township manager Thomas Tucci told WNBC there was no pressure to pass Eileen O'Toole over for promotion, and they selected the best person for the job.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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