MILLVILLE — A police detective alleges in a lawsuit that some members of the city’s Police Department are not fully investigating crimes and that the agency is ripe with infighting.
Jeremy Miller charges in a Superior Court suit that Police Department detectives were “closing cases without any investigation.”
“These closed cases included burglaries, robberies, sexual assaults, shootings and aggravated assaults,” the lawsuit reads. “Not only were these detectives falsely reporting that investigations had been completed, but they were also defying their professional duty to serve the citizens of Millville.”
Miller further charges in his legal action that he was treated unfairly after refusing take sides in ongoing disputes involving Lt. Ed Zadroga and police Chief Thomas Haas. Part of that dispute involved an effort by Zadroga to remove Hass as police chief, the lawsuit reads.
“(Miller) had no intent or desire to involve himself in what he viewed as a petty squabble unrelated to his job duties,” reads the lawsuit, filed in Bridgeton in January by Miller’s attorney, Michelle Douglass, of Northfield.
Miller had “no personal stake” in a lawsuit Zadroga filed earlier against the Police Department and Haas, the lawsuit reads. Zadroga nonetheless “pushed the issue, demanding Miller ‘pick a side,’” it continues.
Miller, a 10-year-veteran of the Police Department, alleges that his decision to stay neutral prompted Zadroga to unfairly give him more cases to investigate than other detectives, the lawsuit continues.
City Solicitor Joseph Chiarello declined comment on Miller’s lawsuit.
“We just received the paperwork a few days ago,” Chiarello said. “We haven’t had the chance to speak with anyone yet.”
This is not the first lawsuit filed against the Police Department in recent years by its members.
Zadroga and Patrolman Edmund Ansara claimed in civil suits that they underwent unfair retribution by the Police Department linked to an alleged ticket-fixing incident.
Zadroga’s case is still pending resolution in the courts.
City Commission in July agreed to pay $65,000 in legal fees to Ansara’s attorney in connection with Ansara’s lawsuit. City Commission found that Ansara was disciplined under departmental charges that were ultimately found to be unsustainable.
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