Alston to Receive $150K in Pain, Suffering and Attorney Fees
Amount will be paid by Matawan's insurance company and not the borough, Mayor Buccellato said.
James Alston, the soon-to-be retired Matawan police chief who was demoted and then reinstated a year and a half later, will receive $50,000 in pain and suffering, according to the "Settlement Agreement and Release" signed by Alston on Nov. 26 and approved by the borough on Nov. 27. Alston's attorney, David Corrigan, will receive $100,000, the document states.
Both sums will be paid by the borough's insurance company, Mayor Paul Buccellato told Patch.
As per the terms of the settlement, both Alston and the borough must drop all accusations, charges, legal actions and claims that occurred within the course or scope of his employment in Matawan.
"This agreement is executed and all consideration is given in final settlement of disputed claims and shall not be construed as an admission of any allegation or of liability by the borough and any such liability is expressly denied. It should also not be construed as an admission by Alston that his claims lacked merit. It is further understood between and among parties hereto that the terms of the agreement shall not have any precedential effect or constitute binding practice by the borough," the settlement states.
The settlement states that as of Oct. 3, 2012 Alston was to be reinstated as police chief and that he will be compensated for such reinstatement retroactively to Oct. 1, 2011. The retroactive pay is calculated using a formula that considers his contract, his longevity and other factors. The formula results in Alston receiving $57,943.30 in retroactive salary.
According to the settlement, as per Alston's previously negotiated contract as police chief he is also entitled to collect payment for 55 accrued sick days in the amount of $30,581.22.
The agreement also states that between Oct. 3, 2012 and Nov. 30, 2012, Alston is to be considered on paid leave of absence and is not to attend work or perform work duties. According to his irrevocable letter of retirement, his retirement is effective Dec. 1, 2012. During his paid leave of absence, according to the settlement, his is not permitted to accrue any additional benefits, including raises or time off. He is also barred from applying for or obtaining any form of employment for the borough in the future.
Upon his retirement, Alston will also receive health benefits for himself, his spouse, and any dependents existing at the time of his retirement as per his contract.
Additionally, according to the settlement, the borough agrees to take a neutral stance on his retirement and agrees to cooperate fully with his retirement application to be filed with the New Jersey Division of Pensions. The settlement also agrees to make all required pension contributions on Alston's behalf prior to Dec. 1.
"The borough agrees to provide Alston with a neutral reference by characterizing Alston's retirement as in good standing and providing his dates of service," the settlement states.
Although the settlement was signed by Alston on Monday, Nov. 26, it could not be signed by the borough until the council voted on accepting the terms of his retirement during the special action meeting Tuesday, Nov. 27.
The settlement is a public document and has been attached to this article. It can be found as a .PDF file under the photo above.
Related Matawan-Aberdeen Patch stories:
- Matawan Police Chief Demoted (July 11, 2011)
- Demoted Chief's Lawyer Vows Fight (July 12, 2011)
- Demoted Police Chief Files Complaint, Demands Reinstatement (July 29, 2011)
- Matawan Appoints Attorney to Answer Demoted Chief's Complaint (Aug. 4, 2011)
- Matawan Disputes Demoted Police Chief's Complaint (Sept. 9, 2011)
- Civil Suit Filed Against Demoted Matawan Police Chief, Officers, Officials (Feb. 1, 2012)
- Demoted Police Chief Files Federal Lawsuit Against Matawan (May 7, 2012)
- Matawan Council Reinstates Alston as Police Chief, Accepts His Retirement (Nov. 27, 2012)