A whistleblower suit has been filed against the State Police's State Hazardous Waste Unit by a suspended sergeant. He alleges he has been retaliated against since reporting financial waste and mismanagement in 2006. The Solid Hazardous Waste Unit runs background checks on businesses and persons seeking licenses to work in the hazardous waste industry -- certainly not an industry where skimping on certifications, inspections and background checks would serve the good of the community.
The State Police have lodged three investigations against the sergeant, two of which were dismissed, but a third prevented the 28-year veteran of the force from retiring. Last year he was suspended without pay for conducting personal business during work hours, but he alleges the suspension was due to his whistle blowing. He lost his other job, which he took on in preparation for retirement from the force, when the internal investigators reported on him to the company.
The state Division of Criminal justice has taken over the investigation. His allegations against the force, reported for the good of the community they serve, has not yielded positive results. The State Police have allegedly targeted him for his actions, reflecting a disdain for whistleblowers and a need to protect something within the unit.
The sergeant and his family have faced a year of difficulty since his suspension and alienation from his workforce. He has faced a year without pay or the ability to retire and gain Social Security or his pension -- as a consequence of actions meant for the good of his community.
Source: Star Ledger, "Suspended N.J. State Police sergeant files whistleblower lawsuit," Chris Megerian, Aug. 30, 2012