Former Passaic County, NJ Sheriff and Port Authority Deputy Police Superintendent Jerry Speziale filed a whistleblower suit, claiming officials from Port Authority retaliated against him when he reported violations to his superiors. The lawsuit was filed on Feb. 7, 2014.
According to Speziale, he was hired as the second highest ranking police officer in Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, assigned with the task of uncovering any waste or corruption in the agency’s police department. When he started doing just that, Speziale claims that retaliatory actions were taken against him.
Speziale alleges that he was denied security credentials for Port Authority facilities, making it impossible for him to do his job unless he had an escort. He claims his work vehicle was taken away and he was denied medical leave benefits for his terminally ill wife and prevented from travelling with her to receive treatments. Speziale also claims that his Facebook account was hacked and he was subject to daily intimidation and harassment tactics.
In the suit, Speziale seeks compensatory damages which include back pay and future pay. He alleges a violation of the state’s whistleblower law and the creation of a hostile working environment.
Speziale resigned from the post in 2013 to become the police chief in Prichard, Alabama. He served as the Passaic County Sheriff from 2001 to 2010, when he resigned to take the Port Authority position.
It is a clear violation of state whistleblower laws for an employer to take retaliatory actions against an employee for bringing up issues of safety, morality, legality and public policy.
The qui tam attorneys at Begelman & Orlow, P. C. have more than 115 years of combined experience litigating whistleblower cases throughout the U.S. If you’ve been retaliated against or wrongfully terminated because you spoke up, contact the whistleblower lawyers at Begelman & Orlow, P. C. to discuss your case and set up a free consultation.