Galloway Township faces another high profile lawsuit, this time centering around the practices of its police department.
On Thursday night, Feb. 21, the township released a copy of a lawsuit filed with the Superior Court of Atlantic County by current police officer the only African-American officer on the force since 2003.
He claims he’s been subjected to racially diverse language since that year. He also claims he’s been subjected to retaliation from the department following the filing of a tort claim notice in 2011, including removal from the Atlantic County SWAT team.
There is no dollar amount attached to Tennant’s lawsuit. The Egg Harbor Township resident who has been with the force since 2000 is seeking “economic and emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and any other exemplary, punitive treble damages allowed by statutes” pleaded in the contents of the suit, as well attorney’s fees, cost of suit, and any other relief the court deems fit.
Police Chief Pat Moran, Captain Alan Kane, Corporal Gerald Houck and the Township of Galloway are specifically named as defendants in the case, and Lt. Chris Doyle is named as a party in three incidents detailed in the lawsuit, including Tennant’s removal from the SWAT team.
Tennant is the second township employee to file a lawsuit against the township over the course of the last year. Last February, Township employee Jody Smith filed a lawsuit against the township after it eliminated her position as land use administrator/zoning officer in 2011. She alleged a conspiracy, and the township settled that suit for $250,000.
It was the same amount of the township’s settlement with former clerk who filed a suit alleging a conspiracy between former Township Manager Steve Bonanni and former Councilman Dennis Kleiner. She also alleged sexual harrasment against Bonanni.
Tilton’s lawsuit was initially filed in May of last year, making Tennant’s suit the third high profile lawsuit brought against the township in less than a year.