Andriani Update: Summary Judgment

Summary Judgment Granted in Andriani Case

Today, the NJ District Court issued summary judgment in the case of Angelo Andriani vs. the city of Hoboken:

  • The Court finds that Andriani’s signing of the Settlement Agreement which resulted in dismissal of the 2007 Lawsuit with prejudice is a “final judgment.” (“final judgment” for claim preclusion purposes occurred when district court approved settlement and dismissed the case).
  • Privity – the Court finds that there is privity between the Defendants in the 2011 Complaint and the Plaintiffs. First, all parties in both matters are public entities and employees involved with the operation of the Hoboken Police Department. (privity “is merely a word used to say that the relationship between the one who is a party on the record and another is close enough to include that other within the res judicata”). Second, Andriani’s Settlement Agreement, in which he discharged “the City of Hoboken, and its past and present employees, officials, and representatives, and former Mayor David Roberts and all of their respective heirs, successors and assigns” further supports the close relationship of the litigants in both actions. (Claim preclusion can be invoked “against a plaintiff . . . where there is a close or significant relationship between successive defendants.”)
  • The allegations made by Andriani in the 2011 Complaint stem from the set of underlying events were already extensively litigated through an administrative disciplinary action and a federal civil suit which resulted in a final judgment. Under the standard set out by the Third Circuit, the 2007 Lawsuit and the 2011 Complaint are undeniably based on the same cause of action. (district court “properly concluded that the case involved the same cause of action because the underlying events in both cases are the same, as the acts complained of were the same, and the evidence at the trial would have been the same.”)

In light of the foregoing, the Court finds that, even when viewing all evidence in light most favorable to non-movant, Andriani’s 2011 Complaint is barred under the doctrine of claim preclusion.

Remember Angelo Andriani?

3/24/2011 Update:

He’s the former head of the now-defunct Hoboken SWAT team who was suspended following a slew of charges regarding his conduct in command. Now he’s sitting pretty following an appeal to the state Civil Service Commission, stands to retire with a full pension – and could sue the city for millions!

Roberts started this fiasco, and Zimmer made it worse

Former Mayor David Roberts suspended Andriani with pay and started an administrative hearing after details of his lascivious SWAT team trips to Katrina-ravaged Louisiana were uncovered.

What wasn’t learned until later was Roberts was also along for the ride, along with former Police Chief Carmen LaBruno – who got to retire with a huge golden parachute from the taxpayers of Hoboken. Photos of Andriani holding guns with Hooters Girls were seen around the country.

Over two years paid vacation for Andriani, now due back pay!

Former Lieutenant Andriani enjoyed two years off with pay until reports of another incident surfaced at a Tampa Airport in January, 2010.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer used that as an excuse to fire Andriani as his hearings dragged on. It wasn’t a decision based on the power vested in her within New Jersey’s often ridiculous laws regarding public employees. It was instead designed to grab a quick headline and soundbites on the New York TV news.

At the time Hoboken411 was the ONLY place you could find a report saying Zimmer’s actions were likely to backfire on the city. Remember this?

“Sources with knowledge of New Jersey law say though Andriani has been paid all this time while suspended, he may lose the option to retire with full pension and benefits if found guilty of the most serious charges. Andriani was on the force 23 years when the charges were brought, and he needs 25 years of service to earn the full benefit of the plan.

City officials have several times been warned to be careful what they say about Andriani, who is already suing former members of his SWAT Team who are suing him and the city. As Former Mayor David Roberts learned over and over again, saying the wrong thing about city employees can lead to big lawsuit settlements and awards. Zimmer’s call for Andriani to be suspended before Internal Affairs can investigate the Tampa Airport incident could come back to haunt her, and city taxpayers.”

– Hoboken411, 1/28/2010

Zimmer fired Andriani, and a Judge reinstated him

For years a hearing prosecuted by Conflicted Councilman Ravi Bhalla’s officemate Paul Condon dragged on and on into the Andriani matter. Once it wrapped up (after Zimmer fired him) Andriani appealed. Last fall a Judge through out the dismissal and ruled a 90-day suspension was a more appropriate penalty. The Civil Service Commission then modified the suspension order to six months.

Here’s how it was reported in the CSC’s meeting minutes of February 2, 2011:

[box size=full color=blue type=note align=right]B-99 ANGELO ANDRIANI

The appeal of Angelo Andriani, a Police Lieutenant with Hoboken, of his removal, on charges, was heard by Administrative Law Judge Margaret M. Monaco, who rendered her initial decision on October 1, 2010. At its meeting on January 19, 2011, the Civil Service Commission, did not adopt the ALJ’s recommendation to modify the removal to a 90-day suspension. Rather, the Commission modified the removal to a six-month suspension. The proposed decision is now submitted the Commission’s review.

ACTION: The Civil Service Commission adopted the decision.[/box]

What does that mean? It means Andriani will have achieved the 25 years of “service” needed to get a full pension. It also means Zimmer’s move to fire him has been reversed, and the self proclaimed “Son of God” can now sue the city for wrongful termination.

Zimmer hides Andriani decision from the public

Notice how the Mayor and her $75,000 a year political operative Juan Melli didn’t issue any press release about this fiasco?

Zimmer was happy to call the New York City media in to announce she fired Andriani, but hasn’t publicly acknowledged that her Public Relations gambit backfired. Don’t be fooled by the spin.

Zimmer wanted this kept quiet, and Melli is paid to spin political gold for Zimmer, not present the truth about what’s really going on at City Hall. For that there’s only Hoboken411.

Was this a fair result, or a travesty of justice?

Andriani fired, but saga continues

Angelo Andriani is no longer an employee of the City of Hoboken.

5/12/2010 Update:

The former SWAT team commander wasn’t fired for his role in the Hoboken SWAT scandal. His exit follows a hearing on his behavior at a Florida airport, where he reportedly flashed an inactive police badge at a TSA agent. The hearing officer in that case recommended the firing, which was approved by the Police Chief, Director of Public Safety, Business Administrator and State Fiscal Monitor. Mayor Dawn Zimmer chose not to pull the trigger on Andriani herself, for whatever reason.

Andriani is gone, but the SWAT hearing drags on

Andriani can now appeal his firing to the Civil Service Commission. The hearings regarding the SWAT scandal are still without an end because Andriani’s attorney wants to bring former Mayor Dave Roberts in for a deposition and testimony. Roberts’ attorney has been fighting the request, dragging the SWAT hearing on for years with no end in sight. Meanwhile there are still the civil lawsuits that have been filed by former SWAT team members against the city and Andriani, who they claim is a white supremacist. Andriani has also filed a countersuit.

The Andriani saga isn’t over. In fact, it’s probably only halftime as this legal game drags on.

1/28/2010:

Perhaps the stress of getting paid for nothing is getting to Angelo Andriani?

Andriani Hoboken SWAT 1

Former Hoboken SWAT Commander vs. TSA Officers

The former Commander of Hoboken’s scandal-plagued SWAT Team is under fire again.

Lieutenant Angelo Andriani has been enjoying two years of suspension WITH pay while the City of Hoboken’s own administrative hearings into his conduct drag on and on and on. Now, Andriani faces a new Internal Affairs investigation following charges he caused a ruckus at Tampa International Airport. Andriani, accused in a lawsuit of telling officers in his charge that former Police Chief Carmen LaBruno “is God, and I am the Son of God,” was apparently not pleased when a flight crew was allowed to cross through Tampa International Airport security before he was.

Andriani allegedly yelled and flashed his badge

Andriani Hoboken SWAT 1 medTampa Airport Police were reportedly called to a disturbance call shortly after 9am on January 18, where they found an “irate” Andriani taking pictures of Transportation Security Administration personnel who permitted a flight crew to pass him in line at a checkpoint. A spokeswoman for the TSA is quoted as saying Andriani displayed a badge and said he was a Police Officer, though he has been suspended WITH $11,000 a month pay since he was brought up on administrative charges.

Andriani’s friend and former boss was given a Golden Parachute by former Mayor David Roberts and a City Council that was more interested in seeing LaBruno leave than launch a full investigation into his conduct in office.

Current Mayor Dawn Zimmer voted in favor of the LaBruno buyout, which included $375,000 for “unused sick pay”, a $150,000 contract termination fee, and a $146,641 a year pension for life.

City hearings continue into Andriani’s actions

Two years ago when the SWAT scandal broke, the Hoboken Labor Counsel David Corrigan on the job to investigate. The Corrigan Report paints an embarrassing picture of a SWAT Team commander given free reign by LaBruno, who stepped in to protect his pal when others complained. The report essentially says LaBruno let Lieutenant Angelo Andriani set up his own dues paying SWAT club and allowed him to do what he pleased with no benefit to the people of the City of Hoboken.

Nine Officers face administrative charges

Andriani Hoboken SWAT 5 medSince the Hudson County Prosecutor found no cause for criminal charges in the SWAT case, the city hired a judge to begin a private disciplinary hearing into Andriani’s conduct. That hearing run by the city began behind closed doors nearly two years ago, and citizens including Mo DeGenarro and Richard Tremitiedi have been complaining it’s been going on forever with no sign of conclusion. Meanwhile, outside attorneys continue to bill the city for the case.

By the way… The State is NOT running the hearing, despite an internet misinformation campaign to the contrary launched by Mayor Zimmer’s minions. It’s the city’s show, following guidelines from state law.

Zimmer’s reaction to Andriani news

After six months of sheer silence on the SWAT scandal from the Mayor’s office, Zimmer is now calling for Andriani to be brought up on new Internal Affairs charges related to the Tampa incident and suspended without pay. Zimmer issued a press release saying she “continues to demand a resolution to the outstanding SWAT team investigation.”

As Chief Executive of the city administration, Zimmer is responsible for making sure this hearing is handled properly, so it’s unclear exactly whom she is “demanding” the “resolution” from (did she forget she was Mayor?)

Zimmer’s “demand” may backfire

Sources with knowledge of New Jersey law say though Andriani has been paid all this time while suspended, he may lose the option to retire with full pension and benefits if found guilty of the most serious charges. Andriani was on the force 23 years when the charges were brought, and he needs 25 years of service to earn the full benefit of the plan. City officials have several times been warned to be careful what they say about Andriani, who is already suing former members of his SWAT Team who are suing him and the city. As Former Mayor David Roberts learned over and over again, saying the wrong thing about city employees can lead to big lawsuit settlements and awards.

Zimmer’s call for Andriani to be suspended before Internal Affairs can investigate the Tampa Airport incident could come back to haunt her, and city taxpayers.

Here is a very thorough video reminder that sums up the details of the SWAT debacle:

411 note: The Hoboken P.D. has markedly changed since the SWAT story broke

In the over two years since the SWAT scandal erupted there have been many changes in the Hoboken Police Department. Chief LaBruno retired, Liutenant Andriani was suspended, Acting Chief Lisa was briefly elevated before retiring when he didn’t get the permanent job, and most important of all, new Chief Anthony Falco has set a very different tone during his short time in office. Members of the Hoboken P.D. embarrassed by the headlines created by others have continued to serve this city with dignity and valor. The actions of a few effected an entire department, but the SWAT team has been disbanded and time marches on with new leadership.

Much more on the Hoboken SWAT debacle, including the Corrigan Report here: Swat misconduct report leaked

55 Responses

  1. escaped68 says:

    Here is something else to make you ass burn. He has been suspended for 2 years that means he hasn’t used any vacation time and sick leave. All that time is added to his golden parachute. Where I worked we had a saying and that is” he has a book on somebody and this book has pictures”

  2. hoboken411 says:

    Just a follow up – Andriani’s suspension now includes no paycheck.

    City of Hoboken Announces Suspension Without Pay of Lt. Angelo Andriani

    The City of Hoboken announced today that Lt. Angelo Andriani has been officially suspended without pay pending a full hearing. The decision was rendered by the Hearing Officer Thomas F. Portelli who said, “After consideration of the hearing notes and memoranda, I find that that suspension without pay pending a full hearing is not unwarranted…”

    Mayor Dawn Zimmer had called for the suspension without pay of Lieutenant Angelo Andriani of the Hoboken Police Department resulting from an incident involving Lt. Andriani with the Tampa International Airport Police Department. The incident occurred on the morning of Monday, January 18th in which Lt. Andriani was involved in a “passenger causing disturbance” according to TSA Supervisor Taylor Johnson.

    “Lt. Andriani’s suspension without pay is a just decision,” Mayor Zimmer said. “This type of behavior can not and will not be tolerated and we are appreciative of the decisive measures taken to remedy the actions of this individual.”

    Lt. Andriani was originally suspended with pay by the City of Hoboken as the result of an alleged incident which occurred approximately two years ago.

  3. DEADMAU5 says:

    The picture of him in the KKK like photo has always disturbed me.

    • xyzpdq says:

      You know what else is disturbing? The hatred DEADMAU5 has been spewing against the Irish around here the past couple of days.

      In response to DEADMAU5 who said:

      The picture of him in the KKK like photo has always disturbed me.

      • DEADMAU5 says:

        It’s not hatred against the Irish it’s against the parade and maybe you are taking it too personally? I love Irish people, I married an Irish woman. Maybe it’s a little pushing and shoving too much and if it is I will be the first to apologize. The parade is nothing but trouble and all you Paddy’s defend the parade. Only 1 of you have fessed up and said it’s a fiasco. I spoke to people at my gym on Washington St today about the parade, 1 was for it 10 against it, they are all residents. Lighten up and think about your neighbors before you start thinking about your bladders and sex organs folks!

        In response to xyzpdq who said:

        You know what else is disturbing? The hatred DEADMAU5 has been spewing against the Irish around here the past couple of days.

  4. bornandrazedinhobo says:

    Now he can sit home and do what he did for the last 15 years and NOT collect a check. Guy was on a self inflicted paid vacation since 1995 thanks to his boy Labruno. Must be nice to have a no show paid gig for 15 years!

  5. DEADMAU5 says:

    Now he can complete his home renovations without being scrutinized

  6. bringit says:

    Looks like a recommendation has been made to fire this douche bag (Andriani) for his actions in Tampa. Looked up his lawyer – Sciarra – makes a living representing bad cops. His response:

    Andriani’s lawyer, Charles Sciarra, called the recommendation “kind of a joke,” and said he plans to appeal to the Civil Service Commission, an independent agency.

    “Somebody I never heard of comes in and fires my guy,” fumed Sciarra

  7. nacholibre says:

    On a police side there was a poster complaining about the flight crew boarding before him, and the poster’s profile said he was in NJ…wonder if it was Lt. D-Bag? For what it’s worth, the other people on the forum asked why it mattered if the crew boarded before him since no matter how fast he got on the plane, it wasn’t going anywhere without a crew. Watching this scene at the airport would have been quite entertaining (wahhh wahhh wahhhh said the guy in line as the pilot passed him).

  8. truth1 says:

    Again, when is the decision going to come out? What will be the total LEGAL bill for the taxpayers to bear?

    • matt_72 says:

      Whatever the legal bill, I can guarantee you 3 things. 1st is the bill will be far less than the cost to keep him on paid suspension til he retires and his pension if you combine the two. 2nd is that the bill would have been far less had the previous mayor not tried to keep this tool on paid suspension until retirement, which did nothing but drag everything out and force us to keep paying him and all the lawyers for far longer than necessary. 3rd is the union will continue to drag this out and force us to keep spending $ to fire a man who should have been terminated ages ago.[quote comment=”192088″]Again, when is the decision going to come out? What will be the total LEGAL bill for the taxpayers to bear?[/quote]

  9. spiffy says:

    Best pictures as usual, 411! :mrgreen:

  10. bornandrazedinhobo says:

    Interesting to know why Zimmer did not vote to fire Lt. Dynamite….I guess when the next election comes around Lt. Dynamite will not vote for Pedro and vote for Dawn!

  11. nacholibre says:

    With timeless rugged good looks like that, I find it hard to believe he would resort to using his uniform and weaponry to court a comely Hooters lass. Seems a tad unsporting, perhaps even gauche.

  12. homeworld says:

    Wait, so is this fool back on the force?

    • HoneyDew says:

      It looks like he’s suspended for 6 months. I don’t understand how this makes him on the force.

      Also I seem to recall that a couple of members our city government (or their family) were a part of this. Roberts, Michael Russo, Terry LaBruno’s husband, Campos (I think). This was a debacle of huge proportions.

      Didn’t Adriani get accused of making minority police officers do work on his home? I remember reading a lot about the guy and thinking he was a bad bad man.[quote comment=”204797″]Wait, so is this fool back on the force?[/quote]

      • briank says:

        After reading this article, how can any rational person think that the civil service contracts in this state and city are fair to the taxpayers or have any sense of justice? This guy is a legitimate scumbag but will retire after only working 25 years (nice to be pulling in probably 75% of your full time salary while sitting home retired by your mid 40s), but he will sue the city, probably settling for back pay and damages after sitting home for two years on paid leave. Are you frigging serious?! Only in NJ and only with government workers is this crap even imagineable. [quote comment=”204802″]It looks like he’s suspended for 6 months. I don’t understand how this makes him on the force.Also I seem to recall that a couple of members our city government (or their family) were a part of this. Roberts, Michael Russo, Terry LaBruno’s husband, Campos (I think). This was a debacle of huge proportions.Didn’t Adriani get accused of making minority police officers do work on his home? I remember reading a lot about the guy and thinking he was a bad bad man.

        [/quote]

      • 4th Ward Guardian says:

        Andriani is a jerk who embarrassed himself and made his department a laughing stock. The people who allowed him to act that way (LaBruno and Roberts) are no longer employed by the city. Both get fat pensions, but that’s another story.

        For the record Terry LaBruno and her husband had absolutely nothing to do with this. Her husband is a Firefighter. His brother is the former Police Chief who let Andriani run wild. Honeydew is confusing relationships. Campos also had nothing to do with this. Campos is actually close with the Hispanic officers who first blew the whistle on Andriani.

        Honeydew is wrong on some facts, but right about one thing. This was debacle of huge proportions, and it looks like Zimmer’s mishandling of the situation to score political points has made it even worse.[quote comment=”204802″]It looks like he’s suspended for 6 months. I don’t understand how this makes him on the force.Also I seem to recall that a couple of members our city government (or their family) were a part of this. Roberts, Michael Russo, Terry LaBruno’s husband, Campos (I think). This was a debacle of huge proportions.Didn’t Adriani get accused of making minority police officers do work on his home? I remember reading a lot about the guy and thinking he was a bad bad man.

        [/quote]

  13. coolerking101 says:

    Hoboken411 – This article suggests Andriani will sue the city and/or Zimmer. Based solely upon the facts in this article, I see no reason to suggest this is the case. Andriani will get his back pay and that will be the end of it. No reason to sue unless he demands his old job back and the city refuses (or can’t prove it has no room for him).

    My guess is, the city’s attorney told Zimmer when she fired Andriani that she had two choices, 1) let Andriani sit on leave while he collects a check for doing nothing or 2) fire him so he stops being paid and, worst case scenario, the city will have to pay Andriani later. Personally, I prefer firing the guy and paying him later.

    If there is a bad guy here, it’s the police union who fought for this guy to have such insane rights that he could do these ridiculous acts and still have the right to get his job back. I’m curious what official position the union took on Andriani. Did they defend this guy? Did the union pay for his appeal of the city’s decision to fire him? I’m going to guess the answer to both questions is yes. Wouldn’t it have been refreshing for the union to have acknowledged that this guy deserved to lose his job and not helped him?

    • HoneyDew says:

      Yes on the union question![quote comment=”204807″]Hoboken411 – This article suggests Andriani will sue the city and/or Zimmer. Based solely upon the facts in this article, I see no reason to suggest this is the case. Andriani will get his back pay and that will be the end of it. No reason to sue unless he demands his old job back and the city refuses (or can’t prove it has no room for him). My guess is, the city’s attorney told Zimmer when she fired Andriani that she had two choices, 1) let Andriani sit on leave while he collects a check for doing nothing or 2) fire him so he stops being paid and, worst case scenario, the city will have to pay Andriani later. Personally, I prefer firing the guy and paying him later. If there is a bad guy here, it’s the police union who fought for this guy to have such insane rights that he could do these ridiculous acts and still have the right to get his job back. I’m curious what official position the union took on Andriani. Did they defend this guy? Did the union pay for his appeal of the city’s decision to fire him? I’m going to guess the answer to both questions is yes. Wouldn’t it have been refreshing for the union to have acknowledged that this guy deserved to lose his job and not helped him?[/quote]

  14. whineanddineinhob says:

    It doesn’t surprise me one bit that this will work in Andirani’s favor after this mayor put her 2 cents into it. You can read it here first also, that the so-called termination of Al Arezzo will result in the same because of the city’s unfair due process procedure. I believe this administration has broken the record of pending law suits against it. And speaking of the zoning board, what ever happened to the Mike Stigliano’s case about the puppy kennel on 17th Street (another ongoing law suit)? C’mon Juan Meli– spin it, spin it, spin it !

    • wiskeytango1 says:

      this proves zelda rules with an iron hand and director liston with a sponge..Alicia is the PS director..and has done nothing..Don’t see any revolters barking about the payouts to Arizzo and Klangelo when they win their cases..So much for saving a few bucks on the police demotions…With Zelda its not spin.its show and tell..revolters march on city hall and show your fangs..why because birds of a feather flock together..More of your taxmoney dolt out soon…city has not won a case since the invention of the wooden wheel. 👿 [quote comment=”204809″]It doesn’t surprise me one bit that this will work in Andirani’s favor after this mayor put her 2 cents into it. You can read it here first also, that the so-called termination of Al Arezzo will result in the same because of the city’s unfair due process procedure. I believe this administration has broken the record of pending law suits against it. And speaking of the zoning board, what ever happened to the Mike Stigliano’s case about the puppy kennel on 17th Street (another ongoing law suit)? C’mon Juan Meli– spin it, spin it, spin it ![/quote]

  15. homeworld says:

    Imagine the public outcry if this was about a teacher instead of a police officer.

  16. HearditallB4 says:

    This woman is a “one hit” wonder!! Along with her compadre Christie, this just keeps getting better and better. There would have been no cover-ups had this been a teacher, the teacher would have been fired out right, pension suspended, etc. Which side of the fence is she on this week? LOL 😛

  17. taxedtodeath says:

    Does this mean he’s gone for good or is this just part of the process?

  18. trueblue11 says:

    how about an English-Language version of this “legal-ese”.

  19. SRM says:

    The Grey Haired guy was—-REJECTED. No grounds for his suit, he was a party to the negotiations. The Zimmer administration was correct in their actions.

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