An age discrimination lawsuit filed by a Morris Township, New Jersey police sergeant has entered into mediation. Sergeant Stanley Witczak III alleges that he was passed over for promotion because of his age (51 at the time) and because he had arrested Richard Smith, a popular local personality and citizen.
In the suit, Witczak alleges that his supervisors at the police department regularly referred to him as a “dinosaur” and openly suggested he retire. He filed his lawsuit when he failed to be promoted, believing the reasons to be a combination of age discrimination and revenge against him for arresting the popular Smith. He was last promoted (to Sergeant) in 2004, when he was 43 years old. Witczak also alleges that many of his superiors in the police department are members of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Morris County along with Smith, and were displeased when he arrested Smith in 2012.
The mediation is non-binding and is an automatic process whenever a discrimination lawsuit is filed. The township has denied all the allegations and referred to the allegation of age discrimination in particular as “simply untrue.”
As part of his suit, Witczak is seeking retroactive promotion, the reversal of two promotions that were made in preference to him, and a revision in the guidelines for promotion in the police department.