A Parsippany Police Sergeant has filed a lawsuit against the department alleging the enforcement of unfair ticket quotas, violation cover-ups and other abuses, a new report says.
Sgt. Matthew LaManna, who has spent 14 years with the Parsippany Police Department, says he first became wary of violations among fellow officers after hearing talks of a cover-up in regards to the cause of a car crash in 2014.
In order to avoid insurance hikes, officers were told not to disclose the fact that the crash — which involved another Sergeant’s teenage daughter -- was caused by phone-related distracted driving, NJHerald reports.
The suit, filed last month in state Superior Court, alleges that the department enforced an illegal ticketing quota system to boost arrest and summons rates during the pandemic, the report says.
The ticketing system "essentially created a performance quota that incentivized and resulted in officers conducting questionable arrests and illegal searches and seizures in an effort to meet the required performance quota levels,” the suit says.
The department is also accused of neglecting to address officers’ violations, as well as overtime and sick pay abuses, according to the report.
Meanwhile, LaManna, 42, says he was held back from promotions, assigned unfavorable shifts “for years” and subjected to verbal abuse for not following other officers’ requests to keep the abuses secret.
LaManna "complained about, objected to and refused to participate in conduct that he reasonably believed to be criminal, fraudulent, unlawful, and unethical conduct," the lawsuit says.
Other allegations named in the suit include theft of a metal detector by an officer and the 2017 cover-up of a North Arlington police lieutenant’s restraining order violation and contempt charge in Parsippany.
The Parsippany Police Department has received 146 complaints within the last five years, the report says.
LaManna, who remained on full-time patrol duty as of December, is seeking unspecified damages from the department, as well as Police Chief Andrew Miller and the town of Parsippany-Troy Hills.
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