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In re Messina

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

December 16, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF PAUL MESSINA, CITY OF TRENTON.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 9, 2013

On appeal from the Civil Service Commission, CSC Docket No. 2011-3169.

Darryl M. Saunders, attorney for appellant Paul Messina.

Becker Meisel, LLC, attorneys for respondent City of Trenton (Wesley Bridges, of counsel; Steven R. Weinstein, of counsel and on the brief).

John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent Civil Service Commission (Todd A. Wigder, Deputy Attorney General, on the statement in lieu of brief).

Before Judges Harris and Kennedy.

PER CURIAM

Appellant Paul Messina appeals from the March 8, 2012 final administrative action of the Civil Service Commission denying his appeal of the decision of the City of Trenton not to appoint him from a special reemployment list for police Captain. We affirm.

I.

The facts are undisputed. On May 18, 2006, Messina received a permanent appointment to the position of police Captain. In November 2010, Trenton conducted a layoff within its police department. As a result, on November 5, 2010, Messina was demoted to Lieutenant. He was placed on a special reemployment list for Captain, and at the time of the Commission's final action, was the only eligible on this list.

In January 2011, a temporary vacancy occurred in the position of Captain, and Trenton re-assigned Lieutenant Steven Varn to serve as "acting" Captain. Varn's assignment lasted until May 25, 2011, when Messina was assigned to the position of "acting" Captain. Messina served in that position until September 16, 2011, when he returned to the Lieutenant's position. One month later, Messina again was re-assigned as an "acting" Captain, where he remained through the Commission's final decision on March 8, 2012.

Messina sought the Commission's intervention on February 3, 2011, when his attorney wrote,

We are requesting that the Board/Commission disapprove and order that payment be stopped of the salaries of any person employed in violation of Title 11A, New Jersey Statutes, Title 4A, N.J.A.C. . . . In addition, we are also requesting that an audit be conducted by the New ...

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