New Jersey – The former Edison officer, dubbed the lingerie cop after he admitted to showing up to a hotel in uniform in 2012 and pressuring a woman to model underwear, says he should still be a cop, according to a recent lawsuit.
Anthony Sarni, 43, who settled two lawsuits with the town in 2016 for more than $200,000 over the incident, has filed another lawsuit against the state’s fifth-largest municipality, claiming the township’s administration led an “orchestrated campaign” to force him out of the department.
The township council unanimously approved the resolution for the settlement, which will pay the cop $32,000 and cover his legal fees up to $150,000
The lawsuit, which names Edison, its police department, Mayor Thomas Lankey and Police Chief Thomas Bryan, accuses the town administration of attempting to use a “hit man” doctor, allegedly a known specialist who is hired to end an officer’s career, to perform a fitness for duty evaluation.
A call to Edison’s administration was not returned.
Sarni’s attorney, Theodore Campbell, declined to comment on the suit.
Sarni claims in the lawsuit filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on Jan. 5 he was harassed by officials and forced to retire, which took effect at the end of last year.
The settlement, which was approved by the township council in December of 2016 after town attorney William Northgrave said the approval would put “all issues with Officer Sarni are behind us,” paid the officer $212,000. As part of the deal, Sarni would retire and his two lawsuits related to the patrolman’s suspension and his eventual firing were dismissed.
The suit says he accepted a settlement because he feared he would be fired.
Sarni was never charged criminally in the incident that started with a fire alarm call at the Extended Stay America in 2012 while he was on duty. The former officer later returned to the hotel, off-duty but still in full uniform with his sidearm, and asked a woman to try on Victoria’s Secret lingerie for him, according to Internal Affair documents previously reported.
The woman complained to the Edison department but later refused to talk to authorities, saying she feared retribution.
Additionally, the former officer says in the lawsuit another fitness for duty evaluation performed by an independent firm found Sarni was stable and able to work as an officer.
The evaluation from the doctor hired by the township, Matthew Guller, found Sarni suffered from “impulse disorder,” according to the suit. The lawsuit claims the town first tried to hire the “hit man” doctor, but the move was blocked when Sarni’s attorney challenged it in court. Guller and two other officers are named in the suit.
The lawsuit also states that other officers who engaged in “questionable behavior involving nudity and other aberrant behavior” were never ordered to have similar evaluations.