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RUMSON: POLICE FACE ‘WHISTLEBLOWER’ SUIT


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Sergeant Peter Koenig’s lawsuit alleges he blew a whistle on department wrongdoing, but doesn’t disclose the wrongdoing itself. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

hot-topic_03-220x138-2130637A Rumon police officer has sued the department and the borough, claiming he faced retaliation for blowing the whistle on undisclosed wrongdoing, according to a report by the Two River Times.

In a lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Freehold in June, Sergeant Peter Koenig alleged he faced a “a hostile work environment” after “calling attention to what he said was improper behavior from his fellow officers,” the TRT reported Thursday, citing court documents.

The nature of the alleged wrongdoing, however, is not specified in the documents, according to the report.

In his complaint, the 20-plus-year department veteran and borough resident contends that, on or about May 31, 2015, he “observed events at the Rumson Police Department that he reasonably and objectively believed were in violation of law, may have been criminal acts or unethical, were violation of the public policy of the State of New Jersey, and placed the health and safety of members of the public in danger,” the TRT reported.

As a consequence of reporting the alleged misconduct, Koenig claims he was harassed, denied promotions, removed from assignments and improperly investigated.

The TRT said it could not reach either Koenig or his lawyer for comment.

In a court filing made September 9, Mitchell Jacobs, an attorney representing RPD and the borough, denied Koenig’s allegations, and told the weekly newspaper he was confident his clients would be found not liable for wrongdoing.

Koenig wrote in the court filing that Koenig had contacted the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office about his allegations. Charles Webster, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, told the TRT that the agency found no evidence to warrant a criminal investigation, and referred the matter back to the Rumson PD for its own internal investigation, the newspaper reported.

 

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