Gay officer returning to police force after settling lawsuit
Posted 1:43 p.m. Wednesday
Updated 1:45 p.m. Wednesday
GLEN ROCK, N.J. — A gay New Jersey police officer who claimed he was fired because of his sexual orientation will soon be reinstated to the force, officials announced Wednesday.
Glen Rock officials said they reached a settlement with Matthew Stanislao, who sued the town after he was fired in October 2014, alleging a hostile work environment.
The agreement calls for Stanislao to be reinstated to his patrol officer post with back pay. He and his attorneys also will receive a $750,000 settlement. The town is responsible for $150,000 of that amount, which officials say will be included in this year's budget. Its insurer will pay the rest.
Neither party admitted fault or liability as part of the settlement.
Stanislao claimed he was harassed by other officers who used derogatory comments and made lewd gestures. The suit also claimed Stanislao was never recognized for his meritorious service, which included rescuing two people from a mostly submerged car.
"We welcome Mr. Stanislao back to the police force in a spirit of reconciliation and a clean slate on all sides," Mayor Bruce Packer said.
Stanislao lawyers' say he's looking forward to his return.
"Laws against discrimination make merit the only acceptable factor in employment decisions and are part of the reason New Jersey has one of the country's highest-paid and most well-trained workforces, both private and public. Officer Stanislao looks forward to the new leadership of the department directing his skills towards serving the community once again," his lawyers said in a statement.