Sunday, February 10, 2013

Did Pohatcong Police retaliate against Sergeant Francesco "Frank" Pagano because Pagano reported Police Lieutenant Dean McBride for sexually assaulting two police officers?

From reading trial transcripts, on-line here, it is clear that former Pohatcong Township [Warren County] Police Sergeant Francesco "Frank" Pagano accused Lieutenant Dean McBride of "sexually touch[ing" two officers at headquarters.  See the following excerpt from the March 13, 2012 trial transcripts in Pagano v. Township of Pohatcong, Docket No. WRN-L-63-11, pp. 143, 146 and 147.
Attorney: Who do you believe was retaliating against you?

Pagano: Lieutenant [Dean] McBride.

Attorney: Why?

Pagano: In the beginning of 2007, I was approached by two officers from my shift.  They stated to me that while at headquarters they were sexually touched by Lieutenant McBride. I filed a report with the chief which he was away at the time down --
(Objection made and overruled)

Pagano: I wanted to report it right away to Chief [Paul] Hager but he was away.  So I waited until he came back.  Since I wasn't -- I had to report it and the next level would be Lieutenant McBride.  Above him was the chief.  So I waited for the chief to come back from his class.  In the meantime, a whole bunch of investigations started against me from that day on.
And, it is also clear from those transcripts that Pagano believes that the reason for the alleged retaliation, which Pagano claims culminated in criminal charges being brought against him--of which he was ultimately exonerated--was his complaint against McBride.

Questions remain.  Among them:

1. Are Pagano's allegations against McBride true?
2. If so, why is McBride still employed by the Pohatcong Police?
3. If not, why wasn't Pagano charged with perjury (or at least sued civilly) for lying under oath about McBride?

See, also, a related story here about the recently disclosed settlement agreement in which Pagano received $255,000 from Pohatcong Township.