‘They’re not police officers. They’re pirates.’ Paterson sues 6 ex-officers to recoup money paid during suspension

Paterson is looking to recoup $500,000 paid to six former police officers during suspensions.

News 12 Staff

Feb 23, 2023, 5:28 PM

Updated 513 days ago

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The city of Paterson announced that it is suing six former police officers who were convicted of stealing from the people they swore to protect.
Paterson officials say that the taxpayers are owed the money these men collected while they were suspended from the police force with pay. They are suing for $438,162, the amount in salaries all six collected while suspended. Attempting to get this money back is something that has never been done before.
“They’re not police officers. They’re pirates,” says Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh.
Sayegh says there will be no more free rides for those who breach the public’s trust.
"Now that they've been convicted and sentenced, we want to recoup the money they did not earn,” the mayor says.
The six officers being sued were identified as Michael Cheff, Jonathan Bustios, Eudy Ramos, Matthew Torres, Daniel Pent and Frank Toledo.
"It is not fair nor legal that these officers were permitted to be on suspension and paid, for years in some circumstances, while their fellow officers were out on the streets fighting crime,” says Corporation Counsel Aymen Aboushi.
The FBI began arresting these officers in 2018. The officers had been members of the Paterson Police Department’s robbery squad. All were eventually convicted on charges ranging from extortion to filing false police reports to use of excessive force.
Sayegh says that the law is on his side when it comes to recouping the money. The lawsuit claims that if any officer is suspended and found guilty, "said police officer shall reimburse the municipality for all pay received by him during the period of his suspension."
Sayegh says the city is not looking for a judge to rule on this matter, they want this lawsuit to be considered by a jury trial.
The city has not yet determined what the money will be used for if they win the lawsuit.


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