A former president of William Paterson University’s PBA says he was deliberately passed over for promotions in favor of less-qualified candidates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
University officials were trying to get back at him for suggesting they eliminate two administrative positions instead of pursuing a plan to lay off officers as a way of saving money during the pandemic, Craig Simko said.
Minority candidates who scored lower on a Civil Service test when a job opened three months later got promoted to sergeant over him, Simko, 50, of Hawthorne, claims in a lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Paterson.
The university in Wayne left subsequent openings for superior positions unfilled while he remained first on the list, the white 16-year veteran alleges.
University officials sought retribution after he suggested eliminating two public safety director positions instead of furloughing officers, said Simko, who’s president PBA Local 278.
The university had no immediate response.
Simko said he was protecting the union’s 28 members. Now, he says, he’s undergoing treatment for conditions brought on by emotional distress.
Simko, who’s being represented by attorney Rosemarie Arnold, is seeking unspecified damages.
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