Soriano’s Administration Continues to Litigate and Appeals the Captain Carifi Decision to the NJ Supreme Court

Attorney Christopher Deininger with retired Parsippany Police Capt. James Carifi

PARSIPPANY — On January 4, 2021, the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills filed their notice to appeal the December 14, 2020 decision made by the New Jersey Appellate Court.

The Township’s notice of appeal was sent to the Clerk of the NJ Supreme Court, Heather Baker.  The two-Judge panel of the Appellate Court who heard the matter and issued their opinion on December 14, 2020, were Judges Hoffman and Currier. (Click here to view the Township’s notice of appeal to the NJ Supreme Court.)

In their ruling Judge’s Hoffman and Currier stated in part “We are convinced the Judge’s (trial Judge) response had the capacity to mislead the jury and was clearly capable of leading the jury to an unjust result.  Based upon our review of the trial record, if properly instructed, a reasonable jury could have found that upper-level supervisory personnel within the Police Department retaliated against Plaintiff for engaging in protected whistleblower activities.  Plaintiff presented substantial evidence that would support a determination that other supervisory employees in the Police Department – the deputy chief and one or more captains – engaged in retaliatory action against the plaintiff.”

When referring to former Chief Paul Philipps’ testimony at trial, the Appellate Court stated “Plaintiff presented compelling evidence that this response was clearly incorrect and constituted either a careless misstatement or a deliberate lie.”

Former Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Chief Paul Philipps

At the September 17, 2019, Council meeting, Mayor Soriano stated on the record when speaking about Captain Carifi the following: “Look I maintain it, that last year once I became fully aware of the facts and got behind the wheel and saw what had happened and saw the documents that he was targeted as retaliation.” This portion of Mayor Soriano’s statement can be found at the 53:02 mark of this recorded Council meeting. (Click here to listen to Mayor Soriano at the September 17, 2019 meeting.)

“Regardless of the position one holds in this matter, this is an issue of Soriano unable to keep his campaign promise as to when he was a candidate, all he could talk about was how he was going to settle this case once and for all. Yet another Soriano stumble in upholding the pledges he makes to get elected,” said Mayoral Candidate Louis Valori.

“The situation needs to be brought to resolution, it’s gone on through two administrations now and should be brought to a conclusion one way or the other among the involved parties. A lot of time and monies are being wasted we have many more important issues that needed to be addressed in town,” said Chris Mazzarella.  According to sources, Mazzarella will be filing a nomination for Mayor.

Each year, the Supreme Court receives approximately 7,000 to 8,000 petitions for certiorari, of which about 1% (approximately 80–100), are granted plenary review with oral arguments, and an additional 50 to 60 are disposed of without plenary review.