FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York Civil Rights Lawyer Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., alleges in a $75 Mil. federal lawsuit that Police Officer Joseph E. Pesapane received ‘unlawful punishment for blowing the whistle on public corruption’
New York, January 10, 2017 – According to the lawsuit, in early January 6, 2006, after a brief stint with the NYPD Mr. Pesapane joined the Westhampton Beach Police Department. He claims unbeknownst to him, the Incorporated Village of Westhampton Beach, Board of Trustees and police department have a long history rife with ‘public corruption’ where crimes and serious misconduct are condoned, arrests illegally ‘voided,’ enforcement and employment actions are purely politically motivated.
Prior to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota’s tenure, he was a Partner with Spota, O’Rourke, Ammeran & Spreer, LLP serving as the Westhampton Beach Patrolman’s Benevolent Association legal counsel, according to the lawsuit. In a letter purportedly written by Spota on December 12, 2000, he claimed the Board of Trustees “usurped” the Civil Service Law ‘illegally’ appointing Former Chief Raymond E. Dean as a sergeant with the Police Department Village of Westhampton. At the time, Dean was a Trustee with The Incorporated Village of Westhampton Beach.
Pesapane claims, over the years, The Incorporated Village of Westhampton Beach and Dean committed ‘fraud’ upon the Civil Service System, the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), applicants, employees and members, as well as the taxpayers of both the Town of Southampton and The Incorporated Village of Westhampton Beach. In the lawsuit, Pesapane calls upon the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and the New York State Attorney General to investigate the theft of public monies by Dean, which is equivalent to Grand Larceny in the First Degree.
In the lawsuit, Pesapane alleges on March 8, 2009, Police Officer Stephen McManus attended a police officer’s funeral where he became extremely intoxicated. McManus so drunk mistakenly believed an ‘unregistered’ Taurus .40 caliber handgun in his possession was ‘stolen’ when in fact the handgun was ‘misplaced’ under the backseat of his personal vehicle, according to the lawsuit. Shortly thereafter, Pesapane claims McManus’s spouse recovered the handgun. However, according to the lawsuit, instead of taking disciplinary action against McManus for being unfit for duty, in possession of an ‘unregistered’ handgun and failing to secure the ‘unregistered’ handgun, Dean and Former Mayor Conrad W. Teller filed a ‘bogus’ complaint with the Suffolk County Police Internal Affairs Bureau claiming McManus’s ‘unregistered’ handgun was ‘stolen’ from a department locker. Pesapane believes Former Chief James Burke of the Suffolk County Police Department in collusion with Dean and Teller covered-up the incident instead disciplining him and his partner.
According to the lawsuit, there are many other instances of ‘public corruption’ not known to the public.
Over the years, Pesapane has been ‘falsely disciplined’ with numerous suspensions and loss of other pay and benefits costing him more than $450k for rebuffing ‘public corruption.’
In another instance, on September 29, 2013, police officers’ from the Suffolk County Police Department arrested Pesapane for allegedly stalking his former fiancé. Pesapane claims his former fiancé promised to have him fired. Pesapane claims there was no ‘probable cause’ to arrest him and the arresting officer never offered to release him with a Desk Appearance Ticket. According to the lawsuit, Pesapane spent the night in jail. A few months later, and without Pesapane’s permission, an ‘illusory’ agreement was signed between lawyers indefinitely suspending him without pay although the New York State Civil Service Law only allows thirty (30) days suspended without pay, according to the lawsuit.
After thirty-four (34) months, on July 22, 2016, the District Attorney’s Office suddenly dismissed the sole criminal charge against Pesapane. According to the lawsuit, Pesapane contacted Chief Trevor Gonce and sought immediate reinstatement along with retroactive pay and benefits.
On November 15, 2016, Pesapane filed a complaint with the Personnel Director Alan Schneider, Suffolk County Department of Civil Service regarding his ‘indefinite suspension.’ According to the lawsuit, Schneider and his office have broad oversight powers delegated by the New York State Department of Civil Service to ensure smaller municipalities in the County comply with prevailing civil service law. About a month later, Schneider claims his office doesn’t have the power to handle Pesapane’s complaint but, offered the ‘illusory’ agreement signed between lawyers was valid, according to the lawsuit.
In response, Pesapane filed suit.
“Frankly, it’s a great honor to represent Mr. Pesapane. Mr. Pesapane is a honorable police officer and citizen. He looks forward to proving these matters, exposing Mayor Maria Z. Moore, the Board of Trustees, and their political cronies abuse of governmental powers and utter waste of the taxpayer’s monies for their own pecuniary gains,” says Eric Sanders.
Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., filed the federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York – Central Islip in Joseph E. Pesapane v. The Incorporated Village of Westhampton Beach, et al., Docket No.: 17 cv 00137, on January 10, 2017.
About The Sanders Firm, P.C.
The Sanders Firm, P.C. offers those in the New York City area legal services related and connected to civil rights, civil service rights, criminal law and discrimination. We firmly believe in everyone’s individual rights that are described and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. We understand that our freedoms and liberties are sacrosanct and that they have been won in many and various hard-fought battles. We are committed in every way to protecting your civil rights. We are your voice for justice!
Eric Sanders, Esq.
President and Owner, The Sanders Firm, P.C.
Business Phone: 212-808-6515