Former Public Safety Director Angel Alicea Sues City, Mayor
According to a complaint from his lawyer's office in North Bergen.
Former Public Safety Director Angel Alicea, who resigned in April shortly after it became apparent he had met with FBI informant Solomon Dwek twice, is suing the city and Mayor Dawn Zimmer for racial discrimination, according to a complaint filed in Hudson County superior court.
Alicea, the city's first Hispanic public safety director, alleges in the law suit that his $27,500 salary was never adjusted to that of other city directors because of his race. Alicea is also a retired cop and owns property and a business in Hoboken.
Alicea also takes a stab at the Hoboken police department and its chief, Anthony Falco, in the complaint.
The 11-page complaint alleges that Hoboken police officers used illegal drugs and that Alicea was allegedly not allowed to adminsiter random drug tests during his tenure as public safety director. Furthermore, the complaint alleges that when Alicea brought the situation to light, he was punished for it.
"Alicea became increasingly concerned about the use of steroid and other drug use in the police department," the complaint reads. "When Hoboken failed to take remedial action, Director Alicea conducted his own investigation by obtaining records from Hoboken’s insurance company. Director Alicea determined, based on one year alone, that four Hoboken police officers had been given prescriptions for human growth hormone (HGH)."
According to the complaint, filed by the law firm of Louis Zayas in North Bergen, Alicea complained about the lack of drug testing multiple times and did a private investigation into the matter.
The complaint reads: "As a member of the Federal Task Force on Steroids, Director Alicea agreed to investigate and report back. On that same day, Director Alicea wrote to Police Chief Anthony Falco, who is white, requesting information on the police department’s random drug testing. Chief Falco responded in person that random drug tests had not been conducted in over a year."
An audit released by the state deemed the position of public safety director unnecessary in February, 2010, Alicea complained about this to local media. According to the complaint, he was instructed by the mayor never to talk to the media again.
Since Alicea's resignation, a new public safety director has been appointed for an annual salary of $110,000.
Alicea was appointed as public safety director on July 22, 2009, by then-mayor Peter Cammarano. Previously Alicea had ran on Cammarano's ticket as candidate for councilman-at-Large.
According to the complaint, Alicea is asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, as well as attorney’s fee and costs of suit.