PARSIPPANY — At the Township Council meeting of Tuesday, August 20, Councilman Michael dePierro read a Motion to Direct Mayor to disperse payment to former Parsippany Police Captain James Carifi. The motion passed with three yes votes.
Township Attorney James Lott objected to the motion stating “Mr. Council President: Due to the nature of the motion, which I think is procedurally irregular, I would ask that we go into closed session to discuss this. We’re currently in litigation with Mr. Carifi. I also don’t believe it’s appropriate to appropriate any money pursuant to a resolution. I think that has to be reduced in writing of higher resolution.”
Councilman dePierro read the motion in record. “I am making a motion to direct the Mayor to pay retired Captain James Carifi, the accrued time of 405 days of unused sick, vacation, comp time and personal days worth $368,482.02 owed to him in full, plus interest, to date. These monies had already been set aside by the township when Mr. Carifi retired. Therefore, there was no hardship or additional costs to the residents of Parsippany. I’m proposing at the payments shall be made in three equal payments with interest to date, with each disbursement. The first payment shall be made within a week from the date of this Council direction with the following two on the anniversary, so we’re not giving him all the money at once. We’re given to him one third of it each year for three years with adjusted interest at the time of payment. So therefore I’m requesting that The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills wishes to conduct and ministerial function of compensating Mr. Carifi for his unused time without any admission of liability or statement as to the position of either party regarding Mr. Carifi’s separation from employment. If it’s accepted by former Officer Carifi, this payment will resolve all claims Mr. Carifi has to accrued days of unused sick, vacation, comp time and personal days from the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills.”
Before voting on the motion, the Motion was objected by Mr. Lott. “That’s against my advice. I also don’t believe that this motion is appropriate,” said Lott. The motion was made against the advice of Mr. Lott.
The roll call was made. Mr. dePierro voted yes, Mrs. Gragnani voted yes, Mrs. McCarthy voted yes, Mr. Carfi was recused and Councilwoman Emily Peterson abstained at the advice of Mr. Lott. The motion passes with three votes, one recusal and one abstention.
Councilman Michael dePierro and Councilwoman Loretta Gragnani after the meeting stated “The funds necessary to make this contractually-obligated payment to the officer have been in escrow for the past six years, since he filed for retirement. No new money will be coming from the township budget or Parsippany taxpayers to meet this contractual obligation, and it resolves all issues regarding the officer’s retirement from the township. Since 1999, Parsippany Township has implemented changes to restrict the amount of money retiring employees can expect to collect for unused sick, vacation and personal time. This officer was employed under a contract that predated those restrictions.”
Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Michael Soriano stated “For years, Councilmembers dePierro and Gragnani supported the Barberio-Inglesino administration’s wasteful lawsuits against Captain Carifi, and opposed my administration’s efforts to resolve this series of cases in an equitable and lawful way. dePierro and Gragnani have made a cynical political ploy, abandoning positions they have held for years, to improve their political position just two months before Election Day.”