2 former Jersey City police officers file lawsuit for being fired for using marijuana off duty
Two Jersey City police officers who were kicked off the force for using recreational marijuana have filed a lawsuit. Officers Nora Mansour and Omar Polanco are suing the city and Mayor Steven Fulop.
The suit claims that the city’s rule that officers cannot smoke marijuana while off duty is in place simply to help the mayor in his campaign to become governor. The suit states, “Jersey City’s unlawful employment policy is just a ruse done solely to bring attention to him and to assist his gubernatorial campaign.”
It goes on to say that the public at large is being harmed since taxpayers "are now footing the bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.”
The officers also claim in the suit that their firing was illegal because Jersey City’s ban goes against New Jersey state law. The state of New Jersey allows for police to smoke weed when off duty. These two officers have already been reinstated by the state Civil Service Commission. However, the city has refused to give them back their jobs.
RELATED: Lawsuit alleges Jersey City mayor barred officers from using marijuana in an attempt to win over conservative voters
The mayor and police brass recently filed a suit against the state of New Jersey claiming state law is flawed. They argue that state law goes against the Federal Gun Control Act, which bars anyone who uses marijuana from carrying a gun. The mayor points out that another reason he put the ban in place is because there’s also no way to know if an officer is high while on the job.
“There is no testing for it so there’s no way to tell if somebody smoked 10 minutes before they got on duty or two weeks before they got on duty," Fulop says. “These officers didn’t like the fact that we took a hard line with them and I don’t regret any of it. It’s a frivolous lawsuit.”
Jersey City is the only municipality in New Jersey to prohibit officers from using recreational marijuana while off duty. Five officers have been fired from the Jersey City Police Department due to this ban.