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Transcript: Police Chief's Orders 'Unbelievable'

Emailed instructions said officer should not receive assistance or respond to incidents, according to deposition transcript; attorney says parties are trying to mediate case.

Madison police Officer Anthony Maccario noticed during the summer of 2010 that fellow Officer Anthony Kaspereen was losing weight.

The patrolmen saw each other every day when their shifts changed and Maccario thought Kaspereen looked sick.

"He did lose a lot of weight," Maccario stated in a March deposition. "I just attributed it to a hell of a workout during some really hot months. You know, I mean, he didn't look well, let's put it that way."

The workout consisted of Kaspereen patrolling Madison by foot for nine hours at a time, an assignment he first was given over the Fourth of July holiday.

The patrol , who has since retired, against the borough and Police Chief John Trevena.

Kaspereen's complaint alleges the assignment was "punishment detail" that was partly responsible for him being hospitalized for dehydration and caused him to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lawsuit alleges the assignment was given as punishment for using his sick days for sinus problems, and the lawsuit says the sinus condition was a disability and Kaspereen was being discriminated against for his disability.

The borough says the patrol was part of a traditional post and was not given as punishment. David Pack, attorney for the borough and Trevena, said Monday they are "going to try to mediate the case." Pack declined to comment further.

Maccario, the president of the police union, gave an account of his observations and his involvement in the matter in a deposition on March 26. He provided the deposition at the Morristown law office of Kaspereen's attorney, Kevin Barber, of Niedweske Barber Hager.

Maccario saw Kaspereen's assignment as an inappropriate disciplinary action and filed his first grievance in his seven years as PBA president on Kaspereen's behalf, according to a transcript of the proceeding.

During the deposition, Barber showed Maccario a July 2 email sent to Madison police squad sergeants outlining the terms of Kaspereen's assignment, which included instructions that officers were not to assist Kaspereen and that, if additional manpower was needed, police from other towns should be called instead of Kaspereen, according to the transcript.

Maccario told Barber he hadn't seen the email prior to his deposition and was surprised to see the instructions in writing.

According to the transcript, the July 2 email stated at various points:

  • On night tour Patrolman Kaspereen is to walk out to the downtown area and conduct foot patrols from 1900 hours until 0400 hours (7 p.m. to 4 a.m.)
  • Chief Trevena orders that Kaspereen is not to be issued a patrol car under any circumstances.
  • Chief Trevena does not want anyone assisting, distracting or interfering with Patrolman Kaspereen during his assigned post and duties or they will be disciplined as well.
  • Chief Trevena also states if additional manpower is needed for a response to call for mutual aid.
  • Patrolman Kaspereen is not to be utilized for any response nor is he to be given a patrol vehicle during the course of his assignment.
  • Any request by Patrolman Kaspereen to meet with the Chief is already denied.
  • Chief Trevena states this matter is not to be a topic of discussion among anyone in the police department.

It wasn't clear from the transcript who sent the email. Messages left with Barber were not returned and attempts to reach Maccario were not successful. Pack said Monday he had no comment on the deposition.

In court documents, the borough denied Kaspereen didn't have a vehicle support.

In his deposition, Maccario said the department does have what is called the "Town Man" post, which involves walking the town and helping pedestrians cross the street. It is usually performed by a junior officer, but the assignment given to Kaspereen was unlike anything he had seen.

In particular, Maccario said it was "unbelievable" the chief would order officers not to assist another officer and agreed when Barber asked if that posed a danger to Kaspereen, other officers and Madison residents. He also agreed with Barber that it was "an illegal order."

Barber asked, "As you read it now, what's your reaction to it?"

"It's unbelievable," Maccario said. "I can't imagine that a chief would actually order men to do that, much less put it in writing."

Regarding the instruction to call for mutual aid instead of Kaspereen, Maccario said it was "unprofessional" and "dangerous."

"Basically, that's saying if a citizen of Madison needs help, instead of sending Officer Kaspereen, they're going to call another town who may be, you know, several minutes, 10, 15 minutes away."

Maccario said all of this was happening at a time when there was low morale in the department due to diminished staffing, and a task force recently was disbanded due to insufficient manpower.

Maccario said the assignment took a toll on Kaspereen.

"How would you describe the weight loss, was it significant weight loss?" Barber asked.

"I would say signficant," Maccario said. "He looked like somebody who was sick."

Barber also asked, "From July 2010 through September of 2010, can you explain to me your observations of Kaspereen's physical state, his mental state and his emotional state, how they changed during that time period?"

"Again, I mean you talk about I guess morale, he had no morale," Maccario said. "No one would have morale under those circumstances. The effects of walking for that period of time—shift work is rigorous work enough, let alone having to walk for your entire shift, with that uniform on, with that equipment on, in that extreme heat, even in the evening.

"Plus, I guess the whole mental effects of basically being treated like a criminal in your own police department and being subjected to punishment that one person deems necessary and seems to be not influenced by anyone around him or above him, it's got to be depressing morally and I'm sure that he felt that way. I can't give you any quotes out of Tony's mouth."

Maccario said Kaspereen did sometimes complain of being dizzy. Maccario would tell him to duck into a building to get out of the heat, but it seemed Kaspereen didn't want administration to see he couldn't fulfill the assignment, Maccario said.

"So he did subject his body to, you know, things that he probably shouldn't have. But he did complain of dizziness and he did complain of feeling weak a lot and he said many times, 'I don't know how much longer I could take this.' But, again, I would describe him as being resilient, I guess, you know."

In response to Pack's cross-examination, Maccario said he let Kaspereen dictate how to approach their unsuccessful attempts to resolve the matter by reaching out to the chief and Borough Administrator Ray Codey.

"I tried to do everything according to Tony's belief," Maccario said. "I let him drive this. He's a reasonable guy. He's a very tolerant guy and I think he was pushed beyond the brink. I would have exploded way before this."

Larry Bruce May 02, 2012 at 12:32 AM
First, as predicted,you still didn't answer the question. I'll try once more - why won't you get up at a council meeting and express your concerns? You also didn't answer the one about your twisted logic in jumping from my asking you how that question means that I don't want to get to the bottom of anything. You can skip this one. I don't really care about learning the secret of your logic. Just answer the first one.
ProudAmerican May 02, 2012 at 01:20 AM
you forgot to add Obama to your list
Madison resident May 02, 2012 at 01:21 AM
My questions are.... Why is this chief still working??? Why isn't he suspended? Who and why are they letting him still run the police department????
Brian A. Steel May 02, 2012 at 01:23 AM
My name is Brian A. Steel and I am proud to say that Anthony was a co-worker and still a life long friend. I served with the Madison PD from November 2003-December 2005. I spent those two years working on a squad with Anthony. I would vouch for him any day of the week. His reputation amongst his peers, loyalty to duty, and all around care and compassion to his community are unmatchable. Madison lost a truly great officer and individual when he was forced to retire. While it is truly a shame what was done to him, I am not the least bit surprised. I experienced first hand, the constant threats of discipline without just cause. When his allegations are found to be true, I hope the great citizens of Madison not only hold Chief Trevena accountable, but all those supervisors who stood by and let it happen. I hold no personal vendetta against Chief Trevena or those supervisors who did not protect Anthony. However, as civil servants, we are held to a higher standard. If we do not have the courage to protect one of our own against wrongdoing, how are we expected to protect the unknown we swore to. To Anthony, I am sorry I was not there with you. I believe you know that I would have been standing right next to you with a bottle of water, and torturing you with my bad jokes. I do not believe it unknown comments on these forums. I respect anybody who may disagree with me and invite any discussion. I can be reached at Bsteel2401@gmail.com
Smile May 02, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Have no problem expressing opinion at the council meeting. Buy why not address on going situation directly to all management parties. Your right lets wait for the court decision.
Anonymous May 02, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Wow, what a prediction. Since I haven't answered the "why won't you give us your name," question, and its forty-eight variants the last one hundred times you "asked," why wouldn't you expect me to hold to form. But you are just as predictable. When the questions get hard, you harp on my anonymity. Looking back at my first question, it is interesting that you immediately "knew" it was directed at you, so you had to hop on the Patch and answer it! I guess that makes you the President of the "Madison Way" association. And you still haven't noted if YOU plan to stand up and demand the Truth from the administration, mayor and council, or if, in this case, it's Inconvenient, and thus not worthy of your time/talent. Your, "leave it to the courts," was just further proof that you'll likely remain mute. As for me, I plan to continue to express my concerns here, where a much larger and broader audience will hear my words, and I can't be stifled by the Three Minute Rule.
Barry Luce May 02, 2012 at 03:47 AM
If I were you, I wouldn't answer any of his questions until he explains to all why he completely misrepresented the facts in a previous thread - http://madison.patch.com/articles/madison-to-form-green-team#comments
Devilsfan100 May 02, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Does anyone find it a bit funny that your only hearing one side of the story? The fact of the matter is that there are two side to all stories. Unfortunately, the other side cannot be discussed as this a pending litigation and they cannot comment. What is truely unfortunate is as in most cases the two sides will try to resolve the issue without litigation to save money in the long run which sucks because all the true facts will not come out. Lets not judge this incident on one side of the story. In this forum this will not be the case as it seems as though all the comments are from people that only want to share one side! Anyone can sue anyone for anything, thats the problem in NJ. Lets hear ALL the facts before you judge the situation!
Madison Cyclist May 02, 2012 at 09:21 AM
Isn't Trevena's email the other side of the story? Loose email sinks ships.
Larry Bruce May 02, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Anon - shame on me for not realizing this immediately and wasting all this time. It just came to me that you don't give a damn about the aggrieved ex-cop or any of the other items in the smoke screen you put out there. As always, its the money with you. You're afraid the results of some law suit might indirectly end up costing you $1.50 or so. How sad to live like that. As for knowing your first question was directed at me - it was a "reply" to a comment I made. Isn't that how it works? If not, please teach me the proper blog etiquette. Fianlly, hiding behind the 3 minute rule. Really? That might be the lamest comment you've posted and there's a lot of competition. What if they gave you 20 minutes but you had to use a real name?
madddogg May 02, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Hey Devilsfan100, the other side of the story is that another supervisor, perhaps a Sergeant should have used common sense and stood up for his patrol officer instead of stiring the hornets nest .
John Smith May 02, 2012 at 12:07 PM
tuff talker Hey Devils Fan , could you be in the mix on this issue. Sounds like madddogg hit the nail on the head.
Madisonpdres May 02, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Devilsfan100... Two sides of the story??? Yes, in a previous article it did seem like that but this article just states hard facts! Officer Kaspereen was abused and harassment.. PERIOD! If you really want to talk two sides... You would then know that officer Kaspereen has a lot more on what happen than just this one email that the chief wrote!!! And by the way... His sergeant should have protected him too but didn't. What does that say for leadership, Carpenter???
Larry Bruce May 02, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Before they take this down, who/what are you talking about?
Larry Bruce May 02, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Wow, thanks for the explantation. Both of you brave anyonomous guys better get good lawyers.
Anonymous May 02, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Nice try, but as anyone can see, I replied to "Smile" and you popped up minutes later. If you don't care about the money, then show up at the next council meeting and tell them you'll cover the whole tab. It's amazing how someone can have such a cavalier attitude about what could be a multi-million dollar settlement that would have to be covered by residents. I don't want to see one penny of my taxes go towards a settlement or judgement. As for your "$1.50" throwaway line, for every million dollars of taxes required, a homeowner has to supply another 1.73% of their current tax payment, or almost $200 for the owner of the "average" Madison home. I can think of a lot of better things to do with that kind of money rather than pay for the stupidity of others. Before we have even more of these cases, taxpayers need a full explanation about what's going on and what the powers-that-be plan to do about it.
Ben Davis May 02, 2012 at 07:26 PM
What was the Borough Administrator doing while all this was going on? Isn't it his responsibility to manage all the departments in the borough, including the police? Larry Bruce, any ideas, or are you waiting for the Madison Democratic Committee to give you their talking points?
Larry Bruce May 02, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Like I said above (with my real name), I don't know anything about this matter & think that waiting for the courts decision is the approprite action before shooting off your mouth. Anybody that thinks that anybody is telling me what to say is really clueless. In fact, when your guy Catalanello complained about some of my posts (not directly to me of course), someone asked me to consider toning it down. As you can see, that won't be happening.
Madisonfan May 02, 2012 at 08:25 PM
This is digusting and embarrasing to all Madison residents!!! Trevena should be suspended until this is settled in the courts. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. If we were to break the law or mistreat someone would the MPD be this lenient or look the other way? Why is Trevena being treated differently? The email says it all. Who hired these other officers that didn't protect their own? We need to put officers on our staff who LOVE Madison and its residents not just their pay check.
North St. May 03, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Sad Madison lost a great officer. Whats worse is none of the supervisors stood by their own guy and continued to follow this illegal order.
Barry Luce May 03, 2012 at 04:21 AM
I guess the fact that the Madison Democratic Committee sits together during the council meetings isn't about strategizing, just keeping warm. If the councilman is upset, I'm sure it's because you completely misrepresented what happened at the last council meeting - http://madison.patch.com/articles/madison-to-form-green-team#comments Finally, please don't "tone it down." Madison needs to be reminded on a regular basis how the liberal mind works. By election day I guarantee that Ms. Baillie and Mr. Wolkowitz (aka Mr. & Mrs. "Bipartisan") will be begging you to Please STOPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!
Marine2008 May 03, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Maybe someone should go check the camera if they have one in Romanelli's, when I was in there with my kids and this officer was in there for hours keeping COOL. I don't know much about how the police department runs but I think the chief has the authority to do whatever he thinks is best for the town. Why are you all bashing him? Or maybe someone should check with Union County where he used to worked to see if he had similar issues there. A sinus infection is a disability?? Thats a new one for me! Also, I remember a guy named Zeke walking the town and I think he was a boss. What about the cops walking all the time during the holidays in town and years ago they walked the beat all night long so whats the issue here? This is what the people wanted from them. How long was this officer out there walking? Was it days, weeks or what? Questions that just come to mind, seems like these articles are one sided. Just saying....
Larry Bruce May 03, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Hey $Anonymou$, quite a stretch going from the fact that I'm not consumed with paying for any settlement (that unlike you, I trust the courts to adjudicate) to I should offer to pay for everybody. Does this pass for logic in Teaville? Tell you what, give us your name and I'll pay your share. Quite a dilema for you to choose between your two obsessions. But you can't even get the most ridiculous comment of the day award. Check out Tsukamoto's letter in the Eagle today (or maybe you already know what it says without reading the paper). A beautiful example of a) Tea Party babble and b) a testament to her failure to get what she wanted for 2 years in a row regarding the budget despite the fact that she had an overwhelming majority on the council. And by the way, thanks for keeping the Codey thing in the news. Hopefully you'll keep it up until November.
Larry Bruce May 03, 2012 at 03:52 PM
@BL - the attorney said (directly to me) that they didn't have to, but could respond. The Councilman chose not to respond. Fine. I use the word "respond" rather than "answer" because I learned at the meeting that the public can't ask questions but can only make comments. Seems like a strange rule to me but so be it. I'm sticking with my original comment.
mark herman May 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Whether the officer was good or bad at his job is a ship that sailed. The treatment of even a bad employee does reach these levels by any standard of decency. The Chief and Mr Cody have some explaining to do. The police force is turning into a joke, and the town is spending time and money on what are issues our well paid managers should handle. Politics aside, this is just bad management.
Jones May 03, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Sorry to hear about your experience as well. Sounds like this chief's bullying finally caught up to him.
Mad Res May 03, 2012 at 05:51 PM
What is wrong with the council?!! They tried to fire Ray Codey for doing absolutely nothing wrong, but want to keep a chief who sounds like he did many similar acts like this by using his authority to abuse his officers.
Mad Res May 03, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Why is my tax money going toward a lawsuit from 2010 and we are just hearing about it now?!! This sounds like it was all of the chief's fault and we the taxpayers have to pay for his wrong doing.
Anonymous May 03, 2012 at 08:12 PM
No dilemma, my Anonymity is Priceless. Saw the Eagle. Actually thought the letter to the editor by the Perpetual Field Hater took the cake. Next time you're at a Dem strategy meeting, or chatting at a council meeting you might want to reminder her that the Dems don't care about money, right? Also tell her that she should calculate what the annual cost would be to the average household if all the people working tirelessly to provide a FREE resource to the community were to stop today and let the borough pick up the tab. $3.5M sounds like a scarey number until you divide it across 20 or 25 years and then spread that across 16,000 residents. By my math it would be less than $1 per resident per month! Including the carrying costs! That's three less Mocha, Choka Grande Lattes a Year! Aren't the children of Madison worth the "sacrifice?" On second thought, don't bother. It would be better if she keeps reminding people how the Dems, when they ran the council, told people they would get it done when they purchased the 50 acres, and then bailed (or should I say, Baillied) once they bought the property. Millions for Aquifer Protection, not a penny for the kids. As for the councilwoman's letter, what part of it is wrong? Just dismissing it with your standard Tea Party references is getting old. People want substantive information not just party slogans. I'd hope you could do better than that.
Larry Bruce May 05, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Ok, in the order you posed. Not surprised, didn't think it was enough $ to overcome your fear of identity. Don't get invited to the Dem Committee meetings, sorry. I'd be happy to chat with you at a council meeting but alas that's not possible per the first paragraph. Where does it say the Dems don't care about $? Even if you go through your usual mis-interpretation and claim that I said that for myself, then so what? I don't claim to speak for anybody except myself. Why are you telling me about the fields? I'm all for them. Get some guts and tell her yourself. Then, while your bravery is at a high level, tell Astri Baillie whatever it is you have to tell her. I'd love to witness that. There's no better way to describe the letter than I've already done, sorry to disappoint you. "People want ....." - What people?

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