The chief of police in Wildwood has filed a lawsuit against Wildwood Mayor Gary DeMarzo and the city government. Chief Steven Long has filed the lawsuit in the Superior Court of Cape May County’s Law Division. According to Long’s attorney, Damien Shammas, Long alleges that DeMarzo has violated statue 40A:14-118, which is the chief of police’s bill of rights. The law makes provisions for what is the chief of police is in charge of.
Long believes DeMarzo and the governing body have the right to make policy decisions, but not control the day-to-day operations of that police department.
Shammas said that some of the complains included DeMarzo telling Long:
– who should get what office
– who should be in control when Long is out of town
– that all department discipline needs to be run by DeMarzo
Part of the law reads:
Any such ordinance, or rules and regulations, shall provide that the chief of police, if such position is established, shall be the head of the police force and that he shall be directly responsible to the appropriate authority for the efficiency and routine day to day operations thereof, and that he shall, pursuant to policies established by the appropriate authority:
a. Administer and enforce rules and regulations and special emergency directives for the disposition and discipline of the force and its officers and personnel;
b. Have, exercise, and discharge the functions, powers and duties of the force;
c. Prescribe the duties and assignments of all subordinates and other personnel;
d. Delegate such of his authority as he may deem necessary for the efficient operation of the force to be exercised under his direction and supervision; and
e. Report at least monthly to the appropriate authority in such form as shall be prescribed by such authority on the operation of the force during the preceding month, and make such other reports as may be requested by such authority.
Shammas says he hopes to have a judge assigned to the case this week and have oral arguments by next week.