PBA Local 119 removed from lawsuit against Lawrence Township

The Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 119, which was included as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against Lawrence Township and Police Chief Brian Caloiaro, have withdrawn from the lawsuit.

PBA Local 119 was listed as one of the plaintiffs, along with patrol officers Marc Caponi, Andres Mejia, Hector Nieves, Sgt. Scott Stein, Detective Andrew Lee and Lt. Joseph Amodio, who initiated the lawsuit, which was filed on Oct. 7 in Mercer County Superior Court.

Caponi and Mejia are the president and vice president, respectively, of PBA Local 119.

“Plaintiff hereby voluntarily withdraws Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 119 from the litigation,” according to a Nov. 14 court filing made in Mercer County Superior Court by attorney Christopher Gray, who represents the plaintiffs.

Gray represents the six police officers who brought the lawsuit. They remain as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit claims that police officers are under pressure to issue traffic tickets to make up for a revenue shortfall in Lawrence Township Municipal Court.

The lawsuit claims that Caloiaro has emphasized the need to issue more traffic tickets to generate revenue in Lawrence Township Municipal Court.

The lawsuit states that retaliatory actions were taken against police officers who did not comply with orders to both meet a ticket quota and to impound motor vehicles, whenever possible, as another source of revenue. When a car is impounded, it costs the owner $300 to have it released.

Caloiaro allegedly posted the number of tickets issued by each police officer as a means to shame them into writing more tickets, the lawsuit claimed.