The following is a press release from the Maplewood Township Committee on September 27, 2017.
Village Green will follow up on this story.
The Maplewood Township Committee has reached a settlement with Robert Cimino in which he will retire from Township employment effective January 1, 2018. Mr. Cimino shall continue on paid administrative leave until December 31, 2017.
On Tuesday, October 3rd, the Township Committee will discuss and vote on the settlement after hearing public comments.
The settlement follows votes by the Township Committee on August 1, 2017 expressing “no confidence in Maplewood Police Chief Robert Cimino” and demanding his “immediate resignation.”
Faced with the prospects of extended and costly administrative and legal proceedings regarding this matter and a legal assessment which concluded there would be little likelihood of success in such proceedings, the Township Committee has reluctantly deemed it to be in the best interest of the Township to enter into this settlement. The settlement will successfully achieve the Township Committee’s overriding goal of not having Mr. Cimino return to his post as chief of the Maplewood Police Department.
As per state law (N.J.S.A. 40A:14-147), a member of the police department may not be removed, suspended, fined or reduced in rank except for just cause based on incapacity, misconduct, or disobedience of the rules and regulations for the police department. Any such disciplinary proceeding must be based upon a written complaint against the employee, who shall be entitled to a hearing. The employee may then appeal any penalty in excess of 5 days suspension without pay.
On September 8, 2016, a complaint was filed against Mr. Cimino with the Essex County Prosecutor. The referral to the Prosecutor was consistent with the New Jersey Attorney General Guidelines (July 2014), requiring complaints against a law enforcement executive “be documented and referred to the county prosecutor for investigation.”
On March 30, 2017 the Essex County Prosecutor concluded “there is insufficient credible evidence to warrant a prosecution in this matter” and their investigation “failed to disclose sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegation and it is closed as not sustained. No further action will be taken by this Office.”
As result of the Essex County Prosecutor’s investigation and findings, the Township is legally precluded from issuing any discipline to Mr. Cimino regarding the events of July 5, 2016. Therefore, a settlement with Mr. Cimino, as recommended and approved by the Township’s legal counsel, is the best option to ensure that Mr. Cimino no longer serves as the Chief of the Maplewood Police Department.
The settlement terms include:
- Mr. Cimino will remain on paid administrative leave through December 31, 2017.
- Mr. Cimino will retire from Township employment effective January 1, 2018.
- Mr. Cimino will receive a payment of $49,479.85, representing his accumulated sick, vacation and personal time owed upon retirement. Such payment shall be by January 15, 2018.
- Mr. Cimino will receive a payment of $115,000 less federal, state and local taxes and other required withholdings by January 15, 2018.
- Mr. Cimino will receive a payment of $115,000 less federal, state and local taxes and other required withholdings by January 15, 2019.
- Mr. Cimino’s attorney, Cammarata, Nulty and Garrigan, L.L.C., will receive a payment of $15,000.
- Mr. Cimino will receive a letter stating that he served with dedication and professionalism for 36 years.
- Mr. Cimino will receive a letter acknowledging he had no formal disciplinary actions sustained against him during his tenure as Chief of Police.
- In exchange for the consideration described above, Mr. Cimino agrees to forever release, acquit and discharge the Township from and against all claims, actions and causes of action.
- Mr. Cimino agrees not to directly or indirectly disparage or otherwise bring into question or disrepute the Township and its services, products, business reputation, abilities, or capabilities.
- The Township agrees that it will not authorize any Township elected official or member of the Township Administration to make or cause to be made any defamatory or disparaging statements about or regarding Mr. Cimino.