FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County officials have been notified that the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has dismissed the complaint by former freeholder John Curley against the Freeholder Board and various County employees.
"It is unfortunate that so much time and money had to be spent in order to fight to support Monmouth County employees,” said Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone. “Through the lens of the current environment facing America, I am very proud of the Monmouth County Freeholder Board for deciding to fight for all employees, regardless of gender, age, race or job title, nearly three years ago.”
In 2017, the Freeholder Board learned that an employee had complained about the inappropriate actions of then Freeholder Curley. The matter was investigated by retired Judge Mary Catherine Cuff. Judge Cuff provided a report to the County.
After reviewing the report, the Freeholder Board took the unprecedented action of voting to Censure Curley for his actions against County employees. Curley filed suit shortly thereafter and the first complaint was dismissed. Curley filed a second complaint, which was also dismissed. Curley then appealed the Federal Court Judge’s decision to the Court of Appeals.
“Justice has prevailed, and, most importantly, Monmouth County employees can continue to feel safe at work. The County has, and will continue to, take any complaints of inappropriate treatment in the workplace seriously regardless of the offender,” said Freeholder Director Arnone. “In this matter, the offensive conduct came from the highest level of County government and was not ignored; in fact, the complaints were taken head on—as they always should be.”
Although Curley could appeal this decision to the United States Supreme Court, the County remains steadfast in the belief that the frivolous nature of the complaint will be seen by all.
County Administrator Teri O’Connor and County Counsel Michael D. Fitzgerald were each sued individually by Curley. The Third Circuit has also dismissed the claim against O’Connor and Fitzgerald.
The decision from the Court of Appeals did not reference the investigative report from Judge Cuff and whether the report outlining the offensive conduct can be made public. Additionally, the Court of Appeals assessed the costs of the suit against Curley.