The Wall Township police captain found not guilty of drunken driving by Red Bank Municipal Court Judge William Himelman in May plans to sue his employer for $5 million, according to news reports today.
The arresting officer in the case, which was moved to Red Bank as a neutral venue, called the verdict “the most disgusting and disturbing possible outcome,” and Red Bank Prosecutor James N. Butler said it “set the criminal justice system a long way back.”
From today’s Asbury Park Press:
The notice was filed against the township, Police Department, Township Committee and the arresting officers, Patrolman J. Todd Verrecchia and Sgt. Frank Lancellotti.[Capt. Bernard] Sullivan’s claims include false arrest, false imprisonment, rescission of appointment to chief of police and defamation of character, according to the notice.
Himelman found Sullivan not guilty on all counts May 14. Himelman said Sullivan’s attorney for the trial, James Fagen of Freehold, had created sufficient reasonable doubt as to whether or not Sullivan was drunk at the time of the arrest.
Himelman said it was the first time in five years he had found a defendant not guilty in a drunken driving case.