Bad Cops Run The Police Department
The Financial Cost of Corruption to Taxpayers
Newark New Jersey Police Officer Darren Nance was unlawfully terminated from his career as a police officer in 1996. He was unlawfully terminated after he complained about serious supervisory misconduct. Police supervisors then accused Officer Nance of committing non-criminal administrative infractions, and unlawfully terminated him. At that time Darren Nance complained that he was terminated unlawfully. There was only one police supervisor in the entire Newark Police Department who discovered that Officer Nance was unlawfully terminated. That supervisor, Sergeant Samuel Clark, made at least two official police reports complaining that Officer Darren Nance was unlawfully terminated. Still, in violation of New Jersey Attorney General Guidelines, and in violation of Newark Police policy and rules, Newark Police Officials did not interview Clark, and did not conduct a thorough investigation into his complaints about the unlawful termination of Officer Nance.
After nearly 14 years of legal activity, the case of Darren Nance vs. The City of Newark was presented to a Federal Jury in United States District Court. In June of 2010, the jury determined that Police Officer Darren Nance was terminated unlawfully. [97-CV-6184] The jury, after reviewing the evidence and hearing testimony, also determined that “upper management” employees of the City of Newark actually participated in, or were willfully indifferent to, the wrongful conduct.
However, it is necessary to make a closer examination of the facts to reveal the financial cost to Newark citizens.
When Police Officer Darren Nance was unlawfully terminated in 1996, the supervisory hierarchy consisted of Sergeants; Lieutenants; Captains; Deputy Chiefs; Police Chief, and Police Director. All of these supervisors take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States of America. They are paid to detect, report, and arrest all violations of law and rules. Instead of fulfilling their oath of office and their paid legal responsibilities, Newark Police supervisors actually participated in, or were willfully indifferent to the unlawful acts perpetrated against Police Officer Darren Nance.
For convenience and easy math, let’s assume that all of the supervisors on the Newark Police Department were making ($50,000.00) fifty thousand dollars per year: actually all police supervisors in 1996 were making more than $50,000.00 annually.
There were at least 50 Sergeants, 50 Lieutenants, 25 Captains, 5 Deputy Chiefs, 1 Police Chief, and 1 Police Director. The total salaries for all the supervisors of the Newark Police Department in one year would be ($6,600,000.00) six million six hundred thousand dollars. The City of Newark has several (Corporation Counsel) attorneys on the payroll. But to keep it simple we will assume the City of Newark only has one attorney being paid by the taxpayers at a salary of ($50,000.00) fifth thousand dollars a year. So now the total salaries of all Newark Police supervisors and the city attorney totals ($6,650,000.00) six million six hundred fifty thousand dollars a year. Keep in mind the City Attorney reviewed the Darren Nance case and should have been able to easily determine that he was fired unlawfully.
The City of Newark fought Darren Nance tooth and nail for over 13 years. And during that 13 year time span, not one single police supervisor (other than Samuel Clark), and no attorney for the City of Newark was able to determine that Darren Nance was fired unlawfully. But again to keep it simple, only 10 years will be calculated.
When you multiply $6,650,000.00 by 10 you get $66,500,000.00.
In addition, during the time the City of Newark was wasting their citizens’ scarce financial resources attempting to defend the indefensible, the City of Newark also hired two outside law firms. The bill of both outside law firms will be calculated to be ($1,000,000.00) one million dollars over the more than ten years this case was being litigated: the bill is much higher.
Adding the $1,000,000.00 outside law firm bill to the $66,500,000.00 you arrive at a total of $67,500,000.00. But that’s not all. The City of Newark lost the case and had to pay at least $500,000.00 in attorney fees to Nance’s attorney, and the City of Newark had to also pay Darren Nance $600,000.00. That’s an additional $1,100,000.00. Add it to the $67,500,000.00 and the grand total is ($68,600,000.00) sixty-eight million six hundred thousand dollars: in the interest of simplicity other additional expenses will not be calculated.
Sixty-eight million dollars is far too much tax money to be wasted. And keep in mind this is only one single case. There are several other cases also. What kind of kickback scheme is this? Several people should be put in jail. All this money spent to keep an honest police officer (who did not commit any criminal offense) off the Newark Police Department.
Any legitimate organization would certainly want to prevent incurring such a staggering expense in the future. However, at the time this article was written, the Newark Police Department has not determined who the culpable police officials are, did not sanction anyone for incompetence and or corruption, and did not put any failsafe measures in place to make certain no other police officer is terminated unlawfully. This is an indication that the Newark Police Department has no intent of changing course, and the police department is plagued with systemic corruption.
The Newark Police Department was successful in committing their unlawful termination of Police Officer Darren Nance. Do you believe they are also successful in filing false charges against citizens? If no police supervisor (other than Samuel Clark) was able to detect Nance’s unlawful termination, do you believe that any Newark Police supervisor will detect the unlawful arrest of a citizen? Do you believe that maintaining a police department plagued with systemic corruption will keep citizens safe and prevent crime?
Finally, how long will Newark citizens tolerate systemic police corruption that wastes scarce tax resources and increases crime?
Retired Newark Police Lieutenant
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