A retired Jersey City police officer under indictment from the prosecutor’s office for allegedly performing no-show jobs will receive over $93,000 in unused time after winning a court battle, documents show.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In a 14-page decision rendered by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Barry Sarkisian on January 25, he ruled that Michael Maietti was still entitled to $93,316.95 under the collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Police Officers Benevolent Association.
“While the City of Jersey City may ultimately be entitled to pursue a final disciplinary action, as a result of which the City may possibly impose a fine against the Defendant, the City has failed to cite any contractual,administrative, legislative, or legal authority that provides sufficient public policy grounds to actually vacate the award,” Sarkisian wrote.
Maietti was indicted on June 14, 2016, however, he submitted for an accident disability pension to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System in March 2016 due to a back injury that required surgery, according to the ruling.
While the City of Jersey City initially refused to grant Maietti his payout, which includes 40 vacation days, 89 compensatory days and 73 terminal leave days, an arbitrator ruled in favor of the POBA back on October 1.
The arbitrator decided that there was no language in the collective bargaining agreement that said an officer had to retire in good standing in order to receive benefits, nor are the benefits contingent on approval from the PRFS.
The city filed a counterclaim against the Jersey City POBA in hopes of overturning the decision, but to no avail.
“Because Article 20 does not specifically provide that a police officer must be eligible to receive a pension, under the various statutory and administrative law provisions, it would be fair to read Article 20, as the Arbitrator did, as not including any requirement that the retiring officer be eligible for a pension,” Sarkisian also said.
Maietti received an indefinite suspension without pay, “pending criminal charges,” on June 29, 2016 and formally retired days later on July 1, according to court documents.
The order was publicly released yesterday by Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party’s Open Government Advocacy Project John Paff.
“We have many options and as a policy we don’t comment in the press on litigation or legal matters,” city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said in an email.
A spokesman for the Jersey City POBA did not immediately return an email seeking comment.