Parsippany officer says cops covered up for each other, relatives
PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS — A police officer has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the township police department, saying that his "by the book" approach has cost him overtime, promotions and caused general hardship by resentful fellow officers.
Sgt. Matthew LaManna has worked for the Parsippany-Troy Hill Police Department since 2007 and was last promoted to his current rank in 2014.
According to his suit, LaManna has raised a number of concerns and reported to internal affairs over the past seven years regarding "improper, unlawful and illegal activity" within the department.
Among those incidents was a domestic violence incident in 2017, in which a local restraining order was violated by a police Lt. from North Arlington who had contacted and harassed his wife, the lawsuit said.
When LaManna reported the issue to the prosecutor involved in the case, starting the process for the man to be found in contempt, another Parsippany sergeant intervened and covered up the actions of the other police officer, according to LaManna's lawsuit.
LaManna then was confronted by members of his own department for his "attitude" and "toxic behavior," his suit said.
The township and its police department had no comment on pending litigation when contacted on Monday.
A couple years earlier, LaManna objected to another officer's suggestion in 2015 that a police report falsely include details ruling out cell phone usage by the daughter of a police sergeant who had been in a car crash, so as to avoid an insurance premium hike, according to the suit.
That same year, when LaManna tried to deal with an officer who had been caught sleeping in his patrol car while on-duty, taking "improper sick time" and other work performance issues, LaManna instead was reprimanded by a superior officer and told to rethink his issues with the patrolman, the suit said.
In 2016, when the nephew of a police officer faced charges for placing a fake 911 call, they were fully dismissed despite LaManna's unsuccessful attempt to have the case continue to follow due process, according to the suit.
As a result of those situations and other concerns raised by LaManna for improper equipment handling and other conduct, he was bullied and forced into undesirable shift changes, as well as passed over numerous times for promotions, his lawsuit said.
He is seeking unspecified damages.
A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a police officer as being from Mount Arlington, before being corrected to North Arlington.