New Jersey officers awarded $2.5M payout for harassment with male-anatomy sex toy

MOUNTAINSIDE, N.J. — A New Jersey borough will pay out nearly $2.5 million to a handful of police officers who were reportedly harassed for more than a decade — with a large male anatomy sex toy, a dildo.

The payment settles a lawsuit filed in 2018 by five officers and a part-time employee of the Mountainside Police Department who alleged police brass and municipal officials allowed the “harassing, inappropriate and illegal conduct” by the sex toy — dubbed “Big Blue,” New York Post reported.

Borough officials approved the $2,450,000 settlement on Sept. 18 to be split among the six employees — officers Christopher Feighner, Richard Latargia, Thomas Norton, Jeffrey Stinner and James Urban and part-timer Amy Colineri — and their attorney.

The group of police employees claim in the suit that at least one of the officers, Stinner, was tortured by the internal affairs officer Andrew Huber with the dildo “on almost a daily basis.”

“Huber would [wave] around Big Blue, throw it within the Detective Bureau, and throw it at people walking past the Detective Bureau,” the complaint reads.

In one instance, Huber hit a dispatcher in the face with the sex toy, as Officer Thomas Murphy filmed the incident and teased the man, saying, “What’s it smell like?” and “I hope it doesn’t smell like what I think it smells like,” the complaint reads.

The small police agency has fewer than two dozen officers. Leadership of the organization reportedly knew of the “dildo debauchery,” which began in 2007 or 2008, according to the complaint.

Furthermore, police leadership even went as far as bringing in an attorney to help explain to officers the issues surrounding their use of the sex toy, according to the complaint.

Nevertheless, the individual deemed to be the primary “dildo-wielder,” Huber, scoffed at the training and left the room, according to the complaint.

As part of the settlement, which will be covered by the municipality’s insurance, borough officials deny all allegations in the lawsuit.

The claims made in the civil allegations led to the resignations of Chief Allan Attanasio in August 2018 and Huber, the Post reported. Murphy was suspended without pay after the lawsuit was filed and is no longer listed on the public payroll.

It was unclear what discipline was imposed internally, if any, against the police personnel. New Jersey prohibits the release of police disciplinary records to the public.

Neither Huber nor Murphy appears to have received their pension, with state records showing no payouts for the pair, according to the Post.

Mountainside Mayor Paul Mirabelli referred to the resolution when asked for comment.

“The matter has been amicably resolved,” according to Charles Sciarra, the attorney representing police employees.

 

Author information

Law Officer

Law Officer

Law Officer is the only major law enforcement publication and website owned and operated by law enforcement. This unique facet makes Law Officer much more than just a publishing company but is a true advocate for the profession.

Please Login to Comment.