Spotswood Mayor Calls for State Intervention to Address Internal Affairs Crisis in Police Department

Spotswood, New Jersey – The Spotswood Police Department is facing mounting legal challenges as yet another lawsuit has been filed, prompting Mayor Jackie Palmer to seek assistance from the state Attorney General’s Office to ensure accountability within the department’s internal affairs unit. Mayor Palmer expressed concern over the broken internal affairs operation and called for an end to the targeting of police officers, borough employees, and public officials.

The recent lawsuit was filed by four police officers – James Parsons, Daniel Hoover, Osman Dikiz, and Dominik Skibniewski – against the borough, police department, Police Chief Phil Corbisiero, and Officer Richard Sasso. The officers allege that Chief Corbisiero and Officer Sasso unfairly target any officer who is not part of a plot to remove the Mayor and Business Administrator. This lawsuit came just two days after Chief Corbisiero filed a tort claim seeking $2.5 million, citing unchecked wrongdoing by Mayor Palmer and other officials.

Officer Sasso, who is also the president of the local PBA, previously filed a separate lawsuit against Mayor Palmer and the borough, accusing the Mayor of impeding his career. Mayor Palmer, in her statement, acknowledged her efforts to address abuses within the internal affairs process and emphasized the need to restore public trust and confidence in the department. She vowed not to be deterred by false accusations directed at her.

The most recent lawsuit alleges that Chief Corbisiero, Officer Sasso, and Acting Capt. Nicholas Mayo have factionalized the department in a personal vendetta against Mayor Palmer and Business Administrator Brandon Umba. The lawsuit describes Officer Sasso as a puppet under the control of the Chief and Mayo, claiming that he receives disproportionate overtime at the expense of other officers.

The lawsuit also detailed instances of alleged discriminatory behavior, harassment, and intimidation by Officer Sasso. Officer Dikiz, the department’s only Islamic officer, claims to have experienced racial and religious discrimination, including threats of deadly force. Officer Skibniewski, a first-generation Polish American, alleges that Officer Sasso mocked his Polish heritage and removed a religious pendant from his locker.

As tensions continue to escalate within the department, this recent lawsuit joins a series of ongoing legal challenges. Chief Corbisiero previously filed a lawsuit alleging age discrimination and retaliation, which resulted in a settlement. Former Business Administrator Dawn McDonald is suing Mayor Palmer, Chief Corbisiero, and others for harassment and a hostile work environment. Other officers have also filed lawsuits citing a hostile work environment, harassment, and retaliation.

With multiple lawsuits pending, the Spotswood Police Department is facing a critical moment. The involvement of the state Attorney General’s Office may shed light on the internal affairs process and the alleged wrongdoing within the department. As the legal battles unfold, the department’s reputation and ability to serve the community hang in the balance.

(Note: This version of the article has been rewritten to comply with AP News Style guidelines and does not include any direct quotes from news organizations.)