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AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2-2014The eighth chief in the 86-year history of the Middletown police department took the helm Monday night, according to a report by More Monmouth Musings.

R. Craig Weber, a 21-year veteran of the township squad, was sworn in at a full-house ceremony to succeed Robert Oches, who retired last month after 40 years in the department.

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mtown-police-badge1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A veteran Middletown police officer has filed a lawsuit against the department claiming racial discrimination at work and is calling for removal of the chief of police and another township officer.

The complaint, filed in state Superior Court in Freehold last month by an attorney for Patrolman Darrin Simon, an African-American originally from Trinidad, says Simon was subject to “egregious discriminatory misconduct,” and cited instances of receiving racial slurs and being called “boy” and “coon.”

Simon, who was made a full-time officer in 1997, names Police Chief Robert Oches and range master James Griffin. Simon’s attorney, Clifford Van Syoc, said Oches and Griffin are related and that Oches may have tried to cover up Griffin’s actions.

This is the second time Simon has alleged bias incidents in 2009. The first suit was not filed, township Attorney Brian Nelson told the Asbury Park Press.

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