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Open Government Advocacy Project:
Bridgewater Police Sergeant settles suit with Township

Issue Detail:

On February 17, 2011, the insurer for Bridgewater Township (Somerset County) confirmed that Police Sergeant Gerald Nunnery and the Township "have reached an agreement in principle" that will settle Nunnery's lawsuit against the Township. The insurer declined to release details regarding the settlement since it is not yet finalized. On December 1, 2008, Nunnery sued the Township, Mayor Patricia Flannery, Police Chief Richard Borden and Lieutenants Rick Hollander and Robert Wilk (Nunnery v. Bridgewater, Docket No. SOM-L-1858-08) claiming that he was unlawfully passed over for promotion to lieutenant. According to the suit, the Township promoted Hollander and Wilk to lieutenant on October 8, 2008. Nunnery alleges that the promotion process was unlawful because it "allows for arbitrary decisions based upon superiors' personal opinions" and is, in part, "geared towards candidates who are favored in the eyes of the Bridgewater Police Department." He claims that a more objective process is required by law. His suit seeks rescission of Wilk's and Hollander's promotions and a court order requiring Bridgewater to establish a more objective promotion policy. Nunnery also seeks compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and the imposition of "fines and penalties" against the defendants. Nunnery's lawsuit, my records request and the insurer's response to my request are on-line here. ABOUT ME AND WHY I'M POSTING THIS. I chair the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project which seeks to increase governmental transparency and accountability, particularly at a local level. For more information on the Libertarian Party, go to http://www.njlp.org. As part of my work, I routinely check civil court cases where at least one of the parties is a government agency or official. Most often, these settlement agreements are never revealed to the public. I post them on the Libertarian Party's blog at http://njcivilsettlements.blogspot.com and other public forums because I believe that civil settlements, regardless of amount, may be of interest to citizens and taxpayers. John Paff Somerset, New Jersey




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