WATCH: ‘Big Blue’ Dildo Harassment Suit Prompts 2 Cops to Retire, Another to be Disciplined

From left: Lt. Thomas Murphy, Chief Allan Attanasio, Detective Sgt. Andrew Huber (Mountainside police Facebook page)

Two police officers are retiring and a third is facing disciplinary charges in the wake of an explosive harassment lawsuit against Mountainside police that alleges years of misconduct involving a large dildo, pranks involving nudity and homophobic games, borough officials said Tuesday.

Police Chief Allan Attanasio had been placed on paid administrative leave in May, one week after the lawsuit was filed in Superior Court. The five officers who sued alleged their colleagues engaged in repeated displays of a dildo named “Big Blue,” racial slurs and other misdeeds.

The plaintiffs — officers Jeffrey Stinner, Christopher Feighner, Richard Latargia, Thomas Norton and James Urban, and part-time dispatcher Amy Colineri — say they were subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliation and are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, among other remedies.

While only the Borough of Mountainside is named as a defendant, Attanasio is accused in the lawsuit of taking no actions to intervene.
Many of the allegations in the lawsuit focus on two longtime officers, Lt. Thomas Murphy and Detective Sgt. Andrew Huber.

Attanasio and Huber, who also had been placed on paid leave, have filed for retirement and were removed from the payroll July 20, according to a joint statement from the Mayor Paul Mirabelli and the Borough Council.
“Any decision regarding their pension rests with the State pension board and is outside the Borough’s jurisdiction,” the mayor said.

According to state pension data, Attanasio has 34 years of service and his salary was $150,104. Huber has 21 years of service and his salary was $133,531.

Murphy was suspended without pay July 13, as a result of a review by former assistant U.S. attorney William Maderer, and the borough has filed disciplinary charges against him, Mirabelli and the council said.

“Has any of this impacted the safety in the Borough? Absolutely not. We are fortunate to live in a safe town, where the police know the residents and our neighborhoods,” read their statement.

The 48-page lawsuit extensively details the allegations, including a “large dildo” that Huber allegedly kept in his desk drawer and later in his filing cabinet at headquarters. It first appeared around 2007 or 2008, according to the lawsuit.

“While Plaintiff Stinner was assigned to the detective bureau, Stinner would be subjected to Big Blue on an almost daily basis. Huber would wave around Big Blue, throw it within the detective bureau, and throw it at people walking past the detective bureau,” the lawsuit states.

At one point, another officer saw Big Blue in a coffee mug and threw it in the trash — yet it “reappeared” some time afterward at headquarters, according to the lawsuit.

No one complained to higher-ups until 2012 when Norton and another officer, unnamed in the lawsuit, notified a “member of the police administration,” also unnamed, on the same day an attorney was making a presentation on sexual harassment, the lawsuit states.

No charges have been filed in connection with any of the allegations.

Mountainside Police Lt. Joseph Giannuzzi, officer-in-charge of the department, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The statement from Mirabelli and the council noted an ongoing review by Joseph Santiago, a former New Jersey State Police superintendent who more recently was the police director in Irvington.

The Mountainside Police Department has 22 officers and patrols a municipality that is just over 4 square miles and home to 6,600.

Source: https://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2018/07/mountainside_police_chief_files_for_retirement.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5518 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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