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City of Newark v. Massey

Decided: January 12, 1967.

CITY OF NEWARK, APPELLANT,
v.
HARRY M. MASSEY, AND N.J. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, RESPONDENTS



Gaulkin, Lewis and Labrecque. The opinion of the court was delivered by Lewis, J.A.D.

Lewis

[93 NJSuper Page 318] The City of Newark appeals from a final order of the Civil Service Commission which reduced, from removal to suspension for six months, the penalty imposed upon Harry Massey by the Newark police director, and ordered that he was "entitled to back pay unless the appointing

authority can present valid basis for a setoff against this claim."

Prior to the incidents that gave rise to this proceeding, Massey served as a patrolman in the Newark Police Department from March 26, 1963. He was dismissed from his employment on March 9, 1965, after a departmental hearing at which he was represented by counsel. The several charges made at that time alleged that Patrolman Massey:

CASE NO. 1

"* * * prior to his appointment to the Newark Police Department * * * did co-sign a note the balance being $460.21. During past twelve (12) months has failed and neglected to meet his obligation to liquidate this debt."

CASE NO. 2

(a) "* * * while on duty November 1, 1964, at or about 11:00 P.M. on the southwest corner of Broad and Market Streets, the location of a police call box, upon being questioned by Sergeant Bernard O'Leary, his Superior Officer, relative to his absence from post, did respond by willfully and contemptuously slamming the door of said call box."

(b) "* * * on November 1, 1964, while assigned to the intersection of Broad Street and Market Street, from 4:00 P.M. to 12:00 M., did, without just cause or proper authority, absent himself from said assigned fixed post from about 10:50 P.M. to about 11:00 P.M., a period of approximately ten minutes."

(c) "* * * on November 1, 1964 while assigned to the intersection of Broad Street and Market Street from 4:00 P.M. to 12:00 M., at about 11:00 P.M., having received a lawful order from Sergeant Bernard O'Leary his Superior Officer, to submit a report at the completion of his assigned tour of duty, relative to his alleged absence from said assigned post, did willfully fail and neglect to comply with such order."

(d) "* * * on November 2, 1964, at or about 12:05 A.M., in the First Precinct station did behave with disrespect toward Lieutenant John B. Dunsmuir, desk officer, in that he did disrespectfully toss two blank report sheets on the business desk, behind which Lieutenant Dunsmuir was present, and contemptuously stated to him, 'Tell Sergeant O'Leary, I was on post and I'm not going to submit any reports,' or words to that effect, and further stated, disrespectfully and contemptuously, 'I quit, shove the job up your * * *, I've been writing since I came here,' or words to that effect."

(e) "* * * on November 2, 1964 in the First Precinct station, at or about 12:10 A.M., did willfully and wrongfully toss a firearm, to wit: his fully loaded police service revolver, on the counter of the business desk, ...


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