James Carifi Awarded 1 Million Dollars in Settlement Against Township of Parsippany

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PARSIPPANY — In the Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Chambers, on Monday, December 20, 2021, Former Parsippany-Troy Hills Captain James Carifi held a press conference after settling with the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills for 1 Million Dollars, in a case that was originally filed in 2011.

Christopher Deininger, Esq. congratulates Former Captain James Carifi on the One Million Dollar settlement

The sum of $550,000 was paid out through two Township insurance carriers, Morris County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund and Garden State Municipal Joint Fund. Approximately $368,000 for unused leave balances owed to Carifi, and the remaining (approximately) $82,000 was paid by the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills.

Current Mayor Michael Soriano and former Mayor (and Mayor-elect) James Barberio did not attend the hearing. Prior to the hearing, in a closed-door meeting, Mayor Michael Soriano presented Carifi with a letter in good standing, a retirement badge, and a retirement ID card. Press was not permitted to attend the meeting.

In a 2011 whistleblower claim, Carifi claimed the Barberio Administration, along with then-Police Chief Michael Peckerman, had conspired against him because he reported improper activities within the department.

As a result, his lawsuit alleged, he was transferred and denied a promotion, resulting in his 2013 retirement.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council unanimously passed a Resolution (R2021-165) on November 23, 2021.

Former Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Captain James Carifi holding a letter in good standing, a retirement badge, and a retirement ID card.

“This is an important day for the township, for Captain James Carifi, and his family,” Soriano wrote. “I want to congratulate Captain Carifi on his career of service to our community. Our township owes him a debt of gratitude, and I’m happy to acknowledge the work he’s done for Parsippany. Thank you, Captain Carifi, and I wish you all the very best.”

Former Parsippany-Troy Hills Captain James Carifi delivered the following speech during the press conference:

Today’s announcement and delayed vindication demonstrate that truth and justice always prevail over corruption and coverups, even if it is nearly nine years later.

My good name has been cleared and my status as a law-abiding, law enforcement official is solidly in place through this settlement. I am relieved to be moving forward and putting an end to this difficult time in my life.

Former Parsippany-Troy Hills Captain James Carifi held a press conference after settling with the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills for 1 Million Dollars, in a case that was originally filed in 2011.

This settlement should serve as a strong message and stark warning to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the incoming Barberio administration to stop their political witch-hunt campaigns of burying truthful reports of police corruption and punishing the honorable employees who report wrongdoing and do right by the community and taxpayers.

Had the MCPO acted ethically and taken action to investigate the wrongdoing I reported as opposed to burying information to protect political people, the taxpayers could have avoided this costly process.

During my long, arduous cases, the MCPO continuously buried substantiated information and looked the other way to misconduct within a police department. The MCPO buried information when they were made aware of a former Parsippany Police Chief who submitted a false certification to a Superior Court Judge that a Parsippany Police Officer was using the “Ashley Madison-Life is Short Have an Affair” website for political purposes, when in fact there was never an investigation into this website. The documents are here to prove it. (Click here to read related articles.)

But the audacity of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office doesn’t stop there. Prosecutors then tried to suppress a municipal judge’s probable cause finding against a former Parsippany Police Chief for Official Misconduct for withholding documents that were required to be released to the public. These documents would have shown specific cover-ups. Again, the MCPO went against their sworn duty to abide by the Court’s probable cause finding and looked the other way.

Next, two years after I retired, I was served on Christmas Eve with bogus disciplinary charges from the Parsippany Police Department under the direction of the Barberio administration. The Hearing Officer that was hired by the Township to hear this matter was told informally that he was not going to be paid unless he ruled in the Township’s favor. Thankfully the hearing officer did not succumb to this threat and ruled in my favor, based on the evidence. Several years later, after Barberio was voted out of office, the Hearing Officer wrote to Mayor Soriano asking to be paid for his services, which had been denied payment for almost two years by the Barberio Administration. Not only did the Barberio Administration threaten this Hearing Officer, but they also followed through with the threat by refusing to pay him. Again, when this information was brought to the MCPO they chose to bury it and take no action. (Click here to read document)

Moving forward, incoming and current Parsippany council members must stop tolerating a Mayor who abuses his or her power to wrongly prey upon principled employees who stand up for what is right.

To put into proper context the extent of the Morris County Prosecutors went into suppressing evidence and abandoning their sworn commitment to uphold the law, I have all of the supportive documentation for your review and reference.

With that being said, I am grateful to finally receive vindication for the attempts to smear my reputation, attempts to bring false charges against me, and attempts to prevent receipt of my pension. I want to thank the entire police pension board for unanimously voting in my favor and for their comments to the township attorney that he should be ashamed of himself for playing politics with my pension.

I can’t adequately thank my family enough for supporting me during this entire ordeal, especially my mother who did not live to see this day but now can rest in peace with this settlement outcome. Thanks to my entire legal team and some of the members of the Parsippany Police Department who maintained their integrity in spite of their fear of political retaliation and did not let that dissuade them from providing truthful testimony. I truly appreciate my loyal and dedicated friends who stood by me and encouraged me to continue to fight until justice prevailed.

As painstaking as this ordeal was, I hope my case serves as an inspiration to all dedicated employees elsewhere who stand up to corruption and do not give up no matter how ugly the journey gets. The truth will always prevail – this settlement and this badge prove it.

Carifi’s attorney Christopher Deininger, Esq., attended the press conference and answered questions of reporters