WALTER KEITH HAHN and ELIZABETH ANN HAHN, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
MAYOR JUN CHOI, EDISON TOWNSHIP DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY (DIVISION OF POLICE), BRIAN COLLIER, THOMAS BRYAN, and MARK ANDERKO, Defendants-Respondents
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued May 31, 2012 - Remanded June 12, 2012
Reargued January 29, 2013
Appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket No. L-9105-09.
Theodore Campbell argued the cause for appellants.
Eric L. Harrison argued the cause for respondents (Methfessel & Werbel, attorneys; Mr. Harrison, of counsel; Leslie Koch, on the briefs).
Before Judges Fisher, Alvarez, and Waugh.
Plaintiff Walter Keith Hahn appeals the dismissal of his claim against defendants for violation of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 to -14. We affirm.
We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.
Hahn began his employment as a patrolman with the Edison Township Police Department (Department) in January 1995. He became a detective in September 1996. He was assigned to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Narcotics Task Force (Task Force). In the fall of 1998, Hahn returned to the Department and was assigned to investigate "narcotics, gambling and prostitution offenses."
Starting in September 2001, Hahn became an official of Local 75 of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association. His role was to "represent the local union on the state level, at state meetings, county meetings" and to act as a "liaison between the local association and the state association." In 2002 or 2003, Hahn became chair of the local's grievance committee, and was "in charge of filing grievances and following up with the eventual outcome."
In 2004, Hahn was assigned to serve as the school resource officer (SRO) at Edison High School. The SRO position entailed full-time duty at the high school "[i]nvestigat[ing] any related crime in the school or with any juveniles ...