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Retired Wildwood Officers Sue Over Fund

 
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wildwoodhaze



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 290

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:27 am    Post subject: Retired Wildwood Officers Sue Over Fund Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Retired Wildwood Officers Sue Over Fund


Written by Christie Rotondo
Thursday, April 25, 2013 11:33 am



Commissioner says they opted out of the program voluntarily
WILDWOOD- A group of retired police officers are suing the police chief over what they allege is mismanagement of a trust fund, established to compensate retired officers for prescription costs.

According to the suit, Kerry Higgs, Jonathan Winsett, James Nanos, John Davis, Gary DeMarzo, William Cooper, Kenneth Philips and Rolland Roy are all retired officers who paid into the fund while working for the city.

Steve Long, the city’s police chief, heads the fund, according to the suit.

Commissioner Tony Leonetti, who oversees the city’s public safety department, said that the trust fund was established over 20 years ago to help out retired officers who had trouble affording their prescriptions.

“We did not control the fund at all,” Leonetti said, meaning that the police handled the fund, not the city.

Leonetti said that the fund was voluntary to opt into and to opt out of. The retired officers leading the lawsuit, he said, all opted out of the fund before their retirement.

“It’s like being in a club,” Leonetti said. “Once you quit the club, you’re out.”

According to the suit, the retired officers contributed between $2,000 and $7,000 into the fund. They allege that the city created a program to match their contributions after their retirement in 1993.

The suit also claims that the retired officers have made numerous requests for information about the balance of the fund, claims paid, and where the fund account is held. However, none of the requested information was provided, the suit alleges.

Along with Long, Shawn Yuhas, a current member of the police department, is believed to be the fund’s administrator, the suit states.

“Defendants breached their fiduciary duty of care by, among other things, routinely mismanaging the fund, failing to comply with the stated purpose of the fund and refusing to provide plaintiffs with any information regarding the fund’s establishment and administration,” the suit states.

According to the retired officers, Long and Yuhas also distributed the fund for things outside its stated purpose.

Leonetti said that claim was not true.

“Chief Steve Long is such an upright guy, he’s one of my favorite people in the city,” Leonetti said.

The plaintiffs also name City Clerk Chris Wood and the city as defendants in the lawsuit. They claim that Wood violated the Open Public Records Act when he did not provide information Higgs had requested about the fund.

For both claims, the plaintiffs are seeking for the fund to be audited, the information they have requested to be provided, as well as compensatory and punitive damages and legal fees.

Long did not immediately return phone calls requesting comment Tuesday.
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bubba 1



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:43 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Looks like the chickens are coming home to roost. Cant wait to see what the current administration and police chief has to say about these retired officers. I will bet that these guys will refered by the current chief as rable rousers and trouble makers and nothing could be futher from the truth. They were all good cops who worked hard for the department only to see the gross mismanagement occuring now. This chief should be sent packing along with the current administration.
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Poppa Johns



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:56 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Again, it's sounds as if Tony Leonetti has his facts wrong and making a futile attempt to discredit eight former police officers who contributed to a fund in which they were entitled to use, upon their retirement. Very typical for this City Administration: twist the facts, taint the truth, paint a fraudulent picture of what is actually occurring. Tony Leonetti should be ashamed of himself.
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sea4me



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:44 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

All of the current police and fire should be concerned by this. Looks like the promises you are being given now may never come to fruition.

Be careful as to where you are putting your support.
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taxandspend



Joined: 10 Dec 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:00 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Gee, another lawsuit involving Gary DeMarzo. How many are we up to???
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bubba 1



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:54 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Taxandspend as long as he put money in then he should be compensated like anyone who contributed to this fund.
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Twisted Oz



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 4440
Location: Wildwood

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:54 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

More retired cops are getting involved with this suit. They may have kicked a sleeping dog.
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