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Judges nixes suit against Port Authority by former No. 2 cop

Posted at 11:18 PM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-31 23:18:23-04

NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey tossed a whistleblower suit Thursday that accused the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey of retaliating against a former high-ranking police official.

Jerry Speziale sued in 2014 claiming he was retaliated against after reporting internal violations. The former sheriff of Passaic County, New Jersey, was hired in 2010 as the Port Authority’s deputy superintendent of public safety at a salary of $198,000, according to court filings.

Among Speziale’s claims were that he was denied medical leave benefits to be with his terminally ill wife while she underwent treatment. The Port Authority denied that allegation and other claims in the lawsuit.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo wrote that as a bistate organization, the Port Authority isn’t bound by the New Jersey whistleblower law cited in the lawsuit.

Under its charter dating back nearly 100 years, the Port Authority isn’t liable under a law of one state unless both states have enacted laws that are substantially similar.

Speziale is the public safety director for the city of Paterson. He didn’t return phone and email messages seeking comment Thursday.