Judge to hear arguments in police sex toy harassment case

October 15, 2018 GMT

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A judge is scheduled to hear arguments in a case involving a police department, a sex toy and harassment claims.

Several members of the Mountainside police department claim superiors used the toy to harass them and subjected them to homophobic and racial slurs, according to a lawsuit filed in May.

The lawsuit stated Police Detective Sgt. Andrew Huber would “wave around” a sex toy and throw it at people walking past the detective bureau.

Huber, who was once named “Cop of the Year” by the Policemen’s Benevolent Association, would also hide in the men’s locker room naked to surprise other officers, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also named Police Chief Allan Attanasio and Lt. Thomas Murphy.

Attanasio pointed his gun at officers so often it became a running joke, and Murphy and Huber harassed a female dispatcher to the point that she adjusted her work schedule to avoid them, among other claims in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs include five men and one woman out of a police department that has less than two dozen officers.

The borough about 10 miles southwest of Newark said the allegations are frivolous and is seeking to have the suit thrown out. Attorneys said the plaintiffs haven’t backed up claims of a hostile work environment or that they were retaliated against.

They also argued that the claims aren’t valid because they involve alleged behavior directed at both men and women.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs said the town is presenting a “frivolous argument that breaks new ground for absurd employment law defenses.”

Attanasio retired in July. Huber was suspended and also retired in July, and Murphy remains suspended without pay.

The plaintiffs are seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.

NJ.com reports a judge will hear arguments Monday.


Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com