In the midst of an investigation about an alleged racial tirade that occurred during a traffic stop last month, Hudson County Department of Corrections Director Tish Nalls-Castillo has submitted her retirement papers – effective November 1.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
According to public records, Nalls-Castillo submitted an application for retirement allowance with the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits on July 28, 2016. Additionally, her effective retirement date is November 1 of this year.
The heavily redacted paperwork was forwarded to Hudson County View by an anonymous tipster over the weekend and Joe Perone, a spokesman for the state Department of the Treasury, confirmed the documentation was authentic yesterday.
According to state law, Nalls-Castillo has the option to pull her retirement papers any time between now and October 31, 2016.
Nalls-Castillo, who was unanimously appointed to the post by the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders in January, as well as county spokesman Jim Kennelly, did not return multiple inquiries seeking comment on the latest development to this story.
As Real Jersey City first reported, Nalls-Castillo, who is a black, is accused of calling a Hudson County sheriff’s officer a “white motherf***er getting all these people killed” during a July 18 traffic stop on Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City. The director was allegedly using her cell phone while driving.
A copy of the police radio transmissions from the incident has since been obtained via an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request. However, the three-minute recording does not shine much more light on the incident.
The responding officer asks for a supervisor to respond after he has made a motor vehicle stop near the parking lot for Central Judicial Processing court in Jersey City, with a woman heard in the background occasionally overheard speaking in an angry tone, uttering profanities.
The officer who made the stop requesting a supervisor “due to Castillo’s hostile and aggressive mannerisms with racial undertones,” his police report says.
About one-minute and 24 seconds into the recording, one officer remarks that they are having trouble identifying the car via the license plate, “it must be a county vehicle,” another officer responds.
“He’s a [unintelligible] piece of disrespectful ass,” a woman, presumably Nalls-Castillo, can be heard saying around the one-minute, 46-second mark of the audio recording. “I had my phone …,” she adds before the recording cuts out momentarily.
A dispatcher later states that the car can not be identified via the license plate and to “go off the paperwork.”
The last minute or so of the recording focuses on the stopping officer trying to get a ranking officer to the scene, with a “Lt. Alamo” eventually responding.
The recording does not include anything that happened after the lieutenant arrives, but according to his police report, Nalls-Castillo admitted to calling the stopping officer a “white motherf***er getting all these people killed.”
At least five members of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office wrote reports or filed memos in relation to the incident.
“Listen, dude, I was not on my f***ing cell phone and I don’t care about no f***ing ticket. I can afford it,” Nalls-Castillo reportedly told Alamo, based on his incident report.
When it was all said and done, Nalls-Castillo received a summons for using a cell phone while driving.
Nalls-Castillo served as the acting director of the Hudson County jail after Oscar Aviles retired on August 1, 2015, as Hudson County View first reported.
Kirk Eady, a deputy director for the Kearny jail, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for wiretapping other corrections employees just five weeks after Aviles had retired.
The controversy surrounding Nalls-Castillo, who earned a salary of $129,002 in 2015, has not been discussed at subsequent freeholder meetings, though multiple officials have since noted that the incident is being independently investigated.
However, the probe will likely not be complete until the middle of the fall.