I-Team Investigates: Elizabeth police harassment claim

(12/15/05) ELIZABETH ? News 12 New Jersey?s I-Team has learned that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney have been alerted to accusations of misconduct against members of the Elizabeth Police Department.
The News 12 New Jersey I-Team originally revealed possible departmental misconduct through an undercover videotape. On that recording, officers appear to be drinking and destroying property during a parking garage gathering. One individual on the tape apparently boasts to friends that he obtained free beer by shaking down a local business.
Now, new accusations of intimidation tactics and misconduct against the department have surfaced. Resident Robert Vidal says he was verbally threatened by a plainclothes police officer while campaigning against Mayor Chris Bollwage last year. Vidal claims both the mayor and Police Director James Cosgrove witnessed the entire incident from just feet away, and failed to take action.
Not only did Bollwage and Cosgrove fail to act, Vidal says the two men laughed about the harassment while it was occurring. Although Vidal?s credibility has been called into question due to his status as an ex-convict, his complaint was investigated by the FBI. The case has also been forwarded to the U.S. Attorney.
Mayor Bollwage and Police Director Cosgrove refused to return phone calls to News 12 New Jersey.
Related stories: I-Team reveals shocking behavior by Elizabeth police officers High-ranking police officers possibly involved in Elizabeth garage bash Elizabeth councilman demands police shakeup in midst of misconduct claims Elizabeth PD suspends two officers in garage party probe
Related link: News 12 New Jersey I-Team