Town Settles with Saddle River Lt. John Gaffney for $450,000
Police Lt. John Gaffney filed a lawsuit in 2013 for civil rights violations when he was past over for promotions to captain. On 1/16/17 the Saddle River Borough Council voted to authorize a settlement to him in the amount of $450,000.00
The Borough Council unanimously approved the settlement resolution while also claiming that the town also disputes the allegations. Only Councilman Ron Gray was absent from the vote.
Gaffney filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in 2014 when he claimed he was past over for promotion to younger officers based on his political associations. This was during the term of Mayor Raia, and Gaffney claims his discrimination started when he attended a party of Raia’s political rivals. The lawsuit included the town of Saddle River plus former Mayor Sam Raia, Police Chief Timothy McWilliams, Chuck Cuccia, Mike Mutter, Bruce Walenczyk, Al Kurpis, Warren Boardman, Mike Toomey and Karen Mastraiano.
The settlement amount will be from the town coffers ($90,000) and the rest from the Town’s insurance company. Current Mayor Al Kurpis has called the settlement a business decision for the municipality but claims there is ‘no fault’ to the town or individuals filed in the lawsuit. This settlement was a ‘favorable’ course for the town over years and cost of on-going litigation.